A superlative example of Blair Athol, which retains all of its distinctive rich, nutty-spicy character. A rich, fruity malt from very fine ex-bodega casks, this makes a real winter warmer, with plenty of lively fruit and spice to cut through its thick, sweet nature and reveal its true complexity.
Appearance: The colour of rose-hip syrup, with bronze and magenta lights. Rich beading and texture.
Nose: At first vinous, and drying. Soon, peanut brittle and honey leap out; intensely sweet with a savoury backbone. Hints of toffee and caramel continue, with brûlée topping and baked bananas. Next a complex layer of herb and spice; tarragon and mint with warming spice. Opens out into sweet butter mint, accompanied by more nuts as well as savoury leaves and forest floor notes. A little water dries, and introduces a trace of chocolate malt.
Body: Medium-full bodied, with an oily and rich texture.
Palate: Rich, smooth, sweet and warming; fruity too. Much more savoury than the nose, with barrel char, spicy oak and liquorice. Aniseed ball heat and treacle toffee sweetness bring on lighter and sweeter notes of candied lemon zest and spiced cooking apple, before diving back into leafy herbs and warming spice. Water smoothly lifts the sweetness, with bitter-sweet fruit and oak, and sweet pepper.
Finish: Sweetly fragrant and spicy, as the sweetness of mint creams and caster sugar fades to leave a herb garden after rain and soft, oaky spice. Fresh mint, with hints of forest floor and charred oak.
A limited edition, natural cask strength singlemalt.
From the seldom seen Blair Athol Distillery at Pitlochry, Perthshire.
A first release of Blair Athol in this series. First new Blair Athol bottling since 2003.
From ex-bodega European Oak butts filled in1993.
Just 5,514 individually numbered bottles worldwide. From specialist retailers only.
Originally founded as Aldour in 1798,named after its water supply; the “burn of the otter”.
Soon closed, then refounded as Blair Athol in 1825 by John Robertson. Several different owners from the Connacher family over the following decades.
In 1886 became the first distillery owned by Peter Mackenzie, who later founded Dufftown and ran the two distilleries together until1932.
With Dufftown, then bought by Arthur Bell, but not operated again until fully rebuilt,in 1949. Capacity doubled to four stills 1973. Visitor centre built in 1987 (among the first in Scotland). Bottled as an 8 year old in the 1970s – 80s.
Bottled in a sherry cask expression at 12 years as a Flora & Fauna malt.
A Rare Malt 27 year old 1975 expression at 54.7% ABV was released in 2003.