• 92
  • Nick's Import

Inchgower Flora & Fauna 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Speyside, Highlands, SCOTLAND
$129. 99 Bottle
$1559.88 Dozen
ABV: 43%

"The freshest malt you could wish for...An intense, perfect aperitif."
- Dave Broom, whiskyadvocate.com

A whisky from a very quiet distillery, this Diageo release has been pretty much the only generally available bottling from Inchgower, which is otherwise marketed by independents. The majority goes to blends, being a key part of Bell's and also employed by Johnnie Walker and White Horse. Built in a coastal Speyside locale in1871 to replace Tochineal Distillery but liquidated in 1903, the Buckie Council purchased the concern in 1936 and ownership was transferred to Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd in 1938. Bells modernised the distillery and expanded the number of stills. Now owned by the corporate giant, Diageo, it's reported that less than one percent of the total production is bottled as a single malt.

This 'Flora & Fauna' Inchgower features a picture of an Oyster Catcher bird, an annual visitor to the region where the distillery is located. Dave Broom describes it as "The freshest malt you could wish for. Perfumed and appetising" while maltmadness.com offer some very complimentary reviews on the overall quality of output from this distillery. Put it on your shortlist.

Tasting note: Pale straw gold. Very pretty with moderate, pillowy aromas of cream tea biscuits, straw bale, muted honey, emerging fruitiness and possibly a puff of distant peat. Delicate, graceful delivery comes across like a well-honed blend with a harmonious interplay of grain, vanilla and orchard fuit flavours building towards the finish. Ends crisp, delicately briny, tangy and medium long. Elegant and distinctive. 43% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... You could argue that there’s an element of auto-suggestion at work when you pick up saltiness in Inchgower, after all, it comes from a fishing port (Buckie). But taste it blind and there it is — an unmistakable salinity on nose and palate which, when combined with lemon accents, cumin seed, thin fruit syrups, and green grapes, makes this an intense, perfect, aperitif.
82 points- Dave Broom, (Fall 2011), whiskyadvocate.com

...Wasn’t this the last of the official Inchgowers? I don’t think the owners keep bottling this baby… Colour: straw. Nose: nothing like the old one. This is a lightish, rather hayish and barleyish malt, although it tends to develop nicely, with notes of overripe apples plus, indeed, a few herbal notes that do hint at the old one. Chamomile tea? It’s all light and even a little ‘diaphanous’. Mouth: excellent! Seriously, this is another surprise, we have a rather zesty and even slightly salty/coastal start, the whole unfolding on oranges, rhubarb, even kiwis and other very ‘nervous’ fruits. Yep, tart ones. All that plus the obligatory overripe apples. It’s only after one minute that it becomes just a wee tad cardboardy and drying. Finish: long, with unexpected notes of pineapples and even Viognier (not into wine? Google is your friend ;-)). Comments: goody good, how could I live without knowing anything about this baby, except that it existed! Lovely light style!
86 points - whiskyfun.com