Without internet connection again, I can’t look up any of the details of this single malt. All I know is what I wrote on the label at the time: Oban / 32yo / Justerini & Brooks [the O&R stand] – J&B being Diageo. How does J&B compare with JW, I wonder? What are the recipe differentials?
N: This one has grown rather gracefully in cask then glass. We’ve honeyed dunnage, yet the dunnage is rather low key, the honey, fruity & floral with a soft nutty huskiness. Alongside a newly cut dry ivy note, things are less dank and fusty than old noses can often be. Rather, we’ve barley sugar layers that build [and have built up] over time, in a way that you’ll rarely come across in a younger malt or blend. There’s a bone-dryness here too that I hope will translate on the nose.
T: With no abv indicator on the sample bottle and little indication on the nose, I don’t expect it to be so strong, yet my estimate of between 50-54 abv on the palate means I’m back in the game. Profile-wise, adding water takes this old malt to a place I’d hoped it would be from nosing – dry as a bone with those crystallised oak sugars a celebration of age. No need to overthink this. I chew it over, sit with it and settle back.
F: Reminds me of some unique Cragganmore family casks I enjoyed at Ballindalloch [WLP]. It’s not without some tannins, but given its age and what it’s imparted, I can allow it some slack. Short finish then, but with an all-too-pleasing linger.
C: Certainly the best Oban I’ve ever had, which isn’t saying too much. Puts those trending £600+ 3yo Bimber whiskies in perspective.