Advent Day 3: 1993 “Samaroli Spey” 21 y.o. (Samaroli)

Secret Spirits Advent Calendar Day 3 – December 3rd013

1993 “Samaroli Spey” 21 y.o. (Samaroli)

Cask #1974 American Oak

45% abv

Score:  89.5/100


A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition. 

Ok.  Not gonna lie.  I’m drinking ahead with my advent calendar.  I have to in order to ensure I can get these updates posted daily.  At this point I am through the first ten whiskies, and man…I gotta say…Samaroli are absolutely knocking my socks off.  These folks obviously have some killer casks at their disposal.  I simply cannot wait to get my hands on more of their releases.

With that out of my system, let’s dive in and try the wee bottle from behind door number three: a 21 year old malt called “Samaroli Spey”.

As I’m not doing any research on these whiskies while drinking my way through (it’s more fun just to simply enjoy the dram and publish some very raw notes), I had no clue which Speyside distillery this malt was from until I started pulling together this post over my morning coffee.  While copying the link to Jonathan’s review (see below) I noticed that he referred to this “Samaroli Spey” as a Cragganmore.  Ok.  Fun stuff.  Cragganmore is a Diageo holding, and not a distillery that has a particularly broad range of expressions on the market (primarily just a 12 y.o. and Distiller’s Edition…at least locally, that is).  I have tried a couple of other Cragganmore indies, and found ’em to be anything from ‘better than average’ to ‘very good’.  Having said that, let’s see what Samaroli can do with this typically rather tame spirit.

Nose:  Very soft.  Very nice.  Honey and nougat.  Sugar cookies.  A little bit of white chocolate.  Spicy bourbon notes.  Grapefruit and orange.  Pie crust.  Sponge cake.  All sorts of white or green fruits and nearly any ‘light’ and ‘soft’ dessert you can imagine.

Palate:  Wow.  Stunning delivery.  Just the ‘woosh’ of oily loveliness at first.  Coats everything.  It’s after that the flavours all expand outwards.  Flan.  Green grapes.  More of those bourbon spices and some wet wood notes.  Cinnamon.  Apple.  Fruit skins.  Not quite as awe-inspiring as the nose, but still delish.

Thoughts:  This whisky came from a very gentle barrel.  I sort of wonder what would have happened with a few more years in wood?  Either way…already a great whisky.

Bonus:  My mate, Jonathan, and I are gonna blog on these drams side by side through the season.  Here’s a link to his notes on the same whisky at


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

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