First up, a single cask 22yo 1975 vintage from an independent bottler. I’ve previously tried cask #7285 from the same series and enjoyed it very much [WLP90].
N: Initially smells like an old blend with odd/random household smells from kitchen cupboards, especially the one under the sink. We let it sit. [Time passes]. Now husky oaky malty chocolate begins to appear. Elements of [Diamond-like] rum notes are suggested as the orchard fruits start to bloom. Ten minutes later we see luscious rich honeydew melon, one the honey dripper has run on and seeped into. With an oakiness now talking, there’s a light biscuity base with a quick lick of dusty [fusty/dunnage-y] 9-volt battery. A good 30 minutes in and the profile has trebled in luminosity, now rich oaky and malty. Let’s crack on.
T: Tastes as the nose would suggest. Quite woody and malty with some rootsy freshness. The bitterness too, is forward, with a simmering woody-peppery heat. I reckon it wants for a little water. With careful dilution, we find it more consolidated with some malty chocolate-y sugars gaining some traction in an attempt to keep up with that bitterness.
F: The cask holds court but there’s an amicable if compromised agreement by the finish. Within that agreement is where some of the more intricate action lies, if you’re so inclined.
C: A beautifully representative Balblair [on the nose], though the cask just got the better of this one for top marks. Still, lots to enjoy, great whisky.