Christmas has come early this year. No, really, it has! OK, let me explain…
With everyone spending far more time at home, the joys of discovering new favourite whiskies from behind some well-stocked bar have been removed from us. We can’t just pop into Milroy’s of Soho, or any bar for that matter. And yes, to be fair we have one, maybe two, bottles of whisky stashed away somewhere at home - but that doesn’t have the same sense of adventure. The drams are great, but consistent and well known.
Enter Jonathan and Cindy Bray from Secret Spirits
The good news is, Secret Spirits have you covered. Run by Canadian couple Jonathan and Cindy Bray, Secret Spirits specialise in whisky tasting sets. They focus on unique whiskies, leaning heavily towards independent whisky bottlers, limited run whiskies, and single casks. All the samples are presented as double measures (50ml). We love this size because: it gives two people a 25ml dram each, as they explore the whiskey together; it gives one person two drams to enjoy across multiple evenings; or, obviously, its a generous double measure to settle in and enjoy!
The best whisky tasting sets
So, why the Christmas reference? Well, when we say that Secret Spirits do whisky tasting sets, to be more accurate, they do whisky advent calendars! Plot twist, but bear with us on this. These scotch advent calendars are tailored made to be a whisky adventure exploring a range of carefully curated whiskies over the course of 25 days. The samples are designed to delight, yes, but also to showcase different distilleries, regions, approaches, and flavours. Whether you drink the drams sequentially over 25 days, or just dip into the calendar whenever the mood strikes you is, really, irrelevant. Its just 25 fantastic double measure whiskies.
Now you might be wondering why Christmas is falling in June, and that’s a fair question. Secret Spirits have been running their popular whisky advent calendars for the past few years, and while the calendars have always been snapped up, each year there’s invariably the odd calendar that’s been left over. Given the current situation, Jonathan and Cindy came to the realisation that opening their back catalogue and offering them to whisky lovers at a discount would give far more enjoyment than them sitting in a dark warehouse; and that enjoyment is much needed in these strange times.
We actually tasted our way through the 2019 calendar last Christmas. Along with the 50ml sample size, we were really impressed by the range. There were single casks, single malts, and artisan blends. There were young spritely age statements, through to 30 year old whisky. There was grain and malt, unpeated and peated drams, and a whole range of cask maturations. We’re not going to list the specific whiskies as that might well spoil the surprise for you, but if curiosity gets the better of you check out our Instagram account @TopWhiskies, and look for the Secret Spirits round icon on our profile where you can find photos of all the drams we tried.
If you’d like to get one of these tasting sets, you can find Secret Spirit’s range here. Jonathan and Cindy are offering the calendars at 20% discount, which makes them £239 for 25 measures of 50ml each, plus a tasting glass and some extras. It's honestly a lot of fun.
Premium Rum Tasting Sets
If their whisky tasting sets aren't enough, you may like to also check out their premium rum tasting sets. They have two kinds available, a sample set, and a pirate themed Rum's Revenge adventure set. It's a lot of fun, you can read our review of Secret Spirits' Rum's Revenge tasting set here.