Blair Athol distillery is a distillery which most whisky drinkers never heard of. It’s acting as a workhorse for Diageo, producing 2,500,000 liter of alchol a year with most of its’ output going into blends (and a very minor portion goes towards the Blair Athol 12 in the Flora and Fauna series).
But a few years a go a big batch of 1988 vintage casks found itself in independent bottlers hands with Signatory leading the way here and one of those Signatory casks popped up lately as an exclusive release for The Whisky Exchange. Let’s check it out!
Blair Athol 1988 27 Year Old Signatory Vintage for TWE (55.7%, £120 ,Cask #6845)
Nose: Sherried and a bit dirty nose with struck matches, weak sulphur, sour berries, cinnamon and nutmeg, espresso, dark chocolate and wax. After a while more coffee and dark chocolate shows up and it becomes less sulphury. With water it’s fruitier with cherries and raspberries, some malt and chocolate with lower percentage of cacao.
Palate: Hot and fizzy at first, dirty, struck matches, espresso coffee, chocolate, wax, plums and dark berries sauce with bitterness, cherries (like kirsch berry liquor). With water: more cherries and berries and sour sherry notes.
Finish: Medium long length, lingering coffee, bitter dark chocolate and cherries.
Thoughts: An excellent old style sherry bomb with dirtiness, wax and just a bit of sulphur. A bit refreshing after having many ‘cleaner’ and sweeter sherry matured whiskies. The price is very sensible for a 27 year old whisky even if it’s a relatively unknown distillery. Highly recommended.
(Official sample by The Whisky Exchange)