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1993 Blair Athol 23 Year Old (Special Release 2017) Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 58.4%
From one of Scotland's oldest distilleries (1798), standing at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. Blair Athol is famous as the signature malt in the hugely popular Bell's blends. The house style is typically rich, spiced, gingery and nutty. Reports have it this unusual cask strength edition was matured in barrels which were scraped, toasted, re-charred and refilled with fortified wine in the UK before being filled with whisky. Since Diageo took over in the late 1980s, Blair Athol has appeared as part of the Flora & Fauna range - otherwise it's independents only.Tasting note: Matured in x-Bodega European oak butts. Deep brassy gold. Following a flare of alcohol, there’s wonderful depth to the bouquet: A sultry combination of poached pears / apples and wild honey ebbing with suggestions of spearmint and grassy freshness. Five minutes further softens the aromas with floral notes of shortbread, vanilla and dates. An intense, juicy, fruity delivery framed by mild tannins and an attractive grassy edge. Great mid-palate length with the oak slowly encroaching and late beeswax through the aftertaste. Not profoundly sherried, in fact, fairly conventional flavour-wise, but with a deliciously distinctive delivery. 58.4% Alc./Vol. 5,514 bottles. Other reviews… This Perthshire single malt was distilled in 1993 and aged in European oak sherry butts. Brittle toffee, black treacle, aniseed, black pepper, and cigar boxes feature on the rich nose. The bold palate yields full, creamy sherry notes, almonds, ginger, old leather, and a slightly savory tang. Long, warming, and peppery in the finish. 90 points - whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: Gavin Smith (Winter 2017) Wouldn’t we love to know the name of that ‘bodega’? Colour: amber. Nose: this time, the OB’s having the upper hand, no doubt about that. Café latte, shortbread, roasted peanuts, a little compost, a drop of well-aged apple vinegar, then massive, and I mean massive notes of pine needles. This, I enjoy a lot. With water: chocolate and relatively mild pipe tobacco. Also some leather, and just one all-cereal bar. Marathon runners may enjoy this. Mouth (neat): perfect, sharp and tart at first, then wider, on fig jam and soft chilli (Espelette). Hits you hard, really… With water: careful, don’t drown it or it would become flat. Stay above 45% vol.! Lovely late-harvest Canadian cider, butterscotch, salted caramel sauce… That is really nice, I’m also finding notes of Golden Grahams or Fruit Loops. I know, I know… Finish: rather long, and very cidery. This is almost cold-distilled cider, to tell you the truth. Raisins in the aftertaste. Comments: another one that’s not extremely easy, and that may be the European oak. Challenging, but very good drop. 86 points - Serge Valentin, www.whiskyfun.com