...and it is pretty nice! Right after serving this dram smells and tastes like an excellent old sherried Invergordon. Even after a long breathing and intense chewing the malt flavours are hard to catch so I simply take this as an old grain, and it is very interesting and enjoyable in this respect. Obviously, the quantities of the malts were rather small (forgotten casks in the warehouse?) but I could not care less given that the pricing is equivalent to an old grain whisky of a comparable age. I like this, and if you never drank such an old dram go for it as there will not be many more opportunities to buy a vintage 1973 at such a reasonable price (319 Euro bucks), most probably.
The colour is very dark at tawny and of course I use a big spherical blender's glass to nose such an old beauty. Oh, the first sniff is adorable already with old sherry flavours mixing up with the trademark grain aromas of very old Invergordon. Right after serving I do not catch any significant malt aromas at all, so I let this dram breath for about 30 minutes. After that excellent high-ester notes develop which remind me of top-quality old single cask rum maturations (I like these too). Still the malt aromas hide cowardly in the background, but actually I do not miss them given this very fine old sherried grain profile without any off note.
Like so often with very old drams the taste cannot keep up with the high expectations of the nose but still this is very good. Again, the Invergordon is clearly in the driver's seat with the sherry and wooden flavours as powerful sidecar-passengers. It takes quite some chewing efforts to motivate the malt flavours to leave their hideaway, nonetheless an experienced malt connoisseur will manage this challenge for sure. But to be honest, I could not identify any malt distillery's profile or trademark flavours in this mix as the grain, sherry and wood are clearly dominating (these three are in balance which is great).
The dram arrives warming and with an average coating effect on my palate, the tannins are firm and provide some minor bitter moments, but they do not overpower and given the 48-years in oak this is more than okay. The finish is of medium length and adds more spices, some astringent moments (tannins again) which are not distracting and more dry sherry flavours. Some water strengthens the spicy side of the dram but be careful not to add too much as the dram flattens quickly. I prefer it neat.