Day Eighteen in the Whisky Advent Calendar

*In this series, I’m working my way through the 2015 Master of Malt Whisky Advent. I had surgery in the middle, so we’re behind on the official dates.

This one is particularly exciting to me because I’m always trying to track down Lowland distillery products that are either single malt or single grain. Being located in the US makes it significantly harder.

I’m looking forward to this one!


Girvin is a Lowland distillery (Scotland), and it was founded in 1963 with the instiallation of it’s first Coffey Still. That in itself is pretty remarkable. There are only a few distilleries in the world still using the original Aeneas Coffey Still. Nikka is one, and Girvin is another!

It was built by William Grant & Sons in order to provide grain whisky for their blending products. It’s also the same distillery that creates Hendricks Gin!


Girvin Patent Still Single Grain sneaks up on you. When your nose goes into the glass, it whispers sweet longing into your ear and tells you about all the lovely things it wants to do to and with you.

My first thought was that it presents all sweet, floral, and pretty with almost no drama. But I was subsequently reminded by a close father figure that most things that are sweet, floral, and pretty come with a LOT of drama.

Then I tasted it. And he was right.


The high alcohol content gets you right out front, but even a few drops of water doesn’t take off the ass-kicking bite.

I really love it.

I get dramatic pepper all through the middle of that whisky surrounded by the creamy banana flavor that reminds me of bananas foster. The grass and earth notes that I find in other Lowlands are present, but only barely.

Essentially, this whisky is Daisy Ridley from the new Star Wars “The Force Awakens”. Nice, friendly, almost adorable, but can absolutely hand you your ass in a tin can.