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The official Dram Association review of

Cooper's Choice - Family Silver 2001

"Ho-Ho-Holoroso"

The official Dram Association review of

Cooper's Choice - Family Silver 2001

"Ho-Ho-Holoroso"

Dram Code: E68
Producer: Mystery Malt
Bottler: Cooper's Choice
Region: Speyside

Whisky Type: Blended Malt
Cask Type: Ex-Oloroso Sherry
Age: 17
ABV: 43.2%

Release: 1 of 330
Price: $195.57 (at time of review)

Dram Code: E68
Producer: Mystery Malt
Bottler: Cooper's Choice
Region: Speyside
Whisky Type: Blended Malt
Cask Type: Ex-Oloroso Sherry
Age: 17
ABV: 43.2%
Release: 1 of 330
Price: $195.57 (at time of review)

93.57/100

Flavour Profile:
Rich & Round

Visual: 4.70 /5
Aroma: 23.73 /25

Taste: 37.40 /40
Finish: 27.73 /30

93.57/100

Flavour Profile: Rich & Round

Visual: 4.70 /5 Aroma: 23.73 /25
Taste: 37.40 /40 Finish: 27.73 /30

About This Dram

The Dram Association must have been good this year – because, on Christmas Eve, these beauties were delivered to the store. Thanks, Santa! I’m really excited about this one, and it’s an amazing whisky to finish off the decade with.

So, first off, you may notice that the distillery is listed as “Secret Speyside”. If it’s a blended malt then why have we even listed that it’s a secret distillery rather than just say it’s a blend from several distilleries? The answer to this question is both simple and complicated – it’s a teaspoon malt!

A teaspoon malt is a simple solution to a common problem for independent bottlers. It’s also something that we Brits would call “cheeky”. Sometimes, when an independent bottler buys a cask, they are made to sign a contract from the distillery that stops them from disclosing the distillery’s name and also forces them to release the whisky in a blend – not as a single cask or single malt. The reason that a distillery makes these stipulations is to make sure that the independent bottler isn’t in direct competition with their own whisky.

Most of the time, the botter has no problem agreeing to those terms. However, on occasion when they get a cask that is particularly fantastic, they bend the rules slightly. Their solution is beautifully simple. Add a teaspoon of whisky from another distillery so that it’s technically a blend and then strongly hint at where it’s from with a code name.

So, where is this from? Well, I’m not really allowed to say – especially as I’m on good terms with this distillery’s owner and I want it to stay that way. However, there are some clues on the bottle. First off, it’s a Speyside distillery. I know that doesn’t narrow it down a lot, but there are actually not that many Speyside distilleries that are this protective of their name. Secondly, it’s an oloroso cask – so that helps us have a pretty small shortlist. Also, I would say it’s quite telling that Cooper’s Choice decided specifically to use their “Family Silver” branding for this bottle.

So we have an oloroso cask Speyside malt which is uncoloured and cask strength, from a distillery who is protective of their name and wants the casks that they sell to only be used in blends (potentially because they have their own official line of single cask releases). And it has something to do with the word “family” or “silver”. You getting it yet?

If you’re following the clues then you’ll know why I’m so excited to showcase this as the final whisky of the decade. Especially at $199.90 a bottle. If the distillery had released this themselves, it would be at least twice that price!

 

Tasting Notes

Firstly, we don’t often mention appearance in these notes, but hot damn that’s an attractive-looking whisky! If this ain’t a 5/5 I don’t know what is.

The nose surprised us with the very specific note of those classic cola bottle gummies. The candy train kept rolling with rum and raisin fudge, apricot jelly beans, and sultanas soaked in brandy.

On the palate, we were treated to a velvety oloroso forward experience that featured buttercream icing, Madeira cake, and mince pies. Hark, the herald angels sing!

by | Dec 31, 2019

Recent Dram Association Reviews

Read all about these whiskies, including Adam's notes and the official Dram Association group score!

How We Review Whiskies

Score

Whiskies are rated by our members on the visuals (out of 5), aroma (out of 25), taste (out of 40), & finish (out of 30). With a total score out of 100.

Based on how scoring occurred for our early reviews, the following guide is given to members -

0-60 awful • 60-70 bad • 70-80 okay • 80-85 good • 85-90 great • 90-95 awesome • 95+ amazing

The individual scores are collected, and outliers are removed via the "agreeable group" statistical method to reduce bias and taste preferences (ie, people who score a peated whisky lowly because they don't like peat). This gives us a better idea of the overall quality of the whisky in the eyes of our members.

 

Flavour Profile

Along with scoring the whisky, members are invited to choose up to three of the below flavour profiles which they think match the whisky. The profile that is most commonly chosen is then the official flavour profile for the dram.

fresh & floral
eg - blossoms, cut grass, apples, pears

fruity & spicy
eg - peach, vanilla, coconut, nutmeg

malty & dry
eg - breakfast cereal, nuts, cookies

rich & round
eg - raisins, figs, oak tannins, dates

smoky & earthy
eg - wood smoke, bacon, iodine

 

Dram Association Nickname

The nickname is usually given by the writer of the initial review and tasting notes. It is based on their tasting notes and used to refer to the whisky to keep its true identity hidden for those who enjoy blind tasting.