A rare and unusual old whisky, subtle in style yet possessing considerable hidden depths, that shows fantastic balance and poise as fruit rolls into spice, then into sweet herbal notes and back again, its characterful spirit clearly aided by excellent cask influence. Makes a luxurious apéritif.
Appearance: 18CT gold. Good legs and very viscous.
Nose:A mellow base aroma, soft and sweet, like a buttery pastry case, lightly dusted with nutmeg ready for a custard filling, or perhaps almond oil and oak shavings. Above this, there’s fruity filling of gently sour apples, spiced pears and ripe melon, orange peel too, before an intense brown sugar sweetness builds. The spicy notes continue to develop, with clove and cinnamon – laced biscuits balanced by candied lemon, more sharp apple and an under lying green herbiness. A drop of water introduces away note and suppresses the fruity elements.
Body: Light to medium. Smooth textured.
Palate: Smooth, sweet and fruity, with a trace of crisp acidity and oak spice to balance the sweetness before it can cloy. The apples and pastry on the nose persist, now caramelized and bitter-sweet, as part of the fruity centre palate. With a splash of water the taste becomes lightly sweeter, while light acidity again steps in to reveal more complexity. The fruit is savoury; light floral notes appear; the oak picks up char; the spice is toasted and fragrant.
Finish: Warming, spicy and lingering, with liquorice that fades to stewed, baked and fresh-sliced apples and warming oak that persists in closing, bitter-sweet flavours.
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A limited edition, natural cask strength single malt whisky. From the closed Convalmore Distillery at Dufftown, Speyside.
A fourth release of Convalmore in this series from the original distiller’s stocks.
Interesting to contrast with the 36yo from European Oak released in2013.
From refill American Oak hogsheads filled in 1984. Only 3,972 bottles worldwide.
A superb example of a malt that should be better known.
Production began in 1894 just outside Dufftown, near the River Fiddich at the heart of Speyside. Designed by local man Donald Mackay, the distillery took its name from the Conval Hills.
Founder, Peter Dawson, took as motif for his well-known brand Dawson’s Perfection the bluebell, symbolic flower of Scotland and a common springtime sight on Speyside.
His distillery enjoyed good railway links and its whisky was always in demand by Glasgow merchants, including James Buchanan, who took over in1906.
However, fire broke out in the area of the tun room on 29 October 1909. Convalmore was rebuilt, to produce steadily save in wartime until finally falling silent in1985.
Sweet starting, maritime style with a characteristic lingering, smoky finish.
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