Pittyvaich is a bit of a special distillery. She has the dubious honor of being the distillery with the shortest ever career, just under twenty years. Opened in 1974 by Arthur Bell & Sons and closed already in 1993 by then-owner Diageo, only two years after the Pittyviach 12 Year Old first appeared on the market in the famous Flora & Fauna series. Since 2002 only a few warehouses remain intact, the rest has been torn down. I’m trying a 23 Year Old from 1985 that got a rum finish, bottled by Cadenhead’s.
That rum finish has certainly put a stamp on the nose. While the malt’s DNA is present, the nose is dominated by a sweetness reminiscent of coconut milk and almond oil. It is waxy and somewhat candy-like. Think guimauve – something I always appreciate in a whisky’s nose. Some mint, vanilla, ginger and some burn ointment. A bit weird. But very pleasant, let me be clear about that.
The body is very oily. The malt is spicy on both white pepper and nutmeg with some ginger in the mix. A slight bitterness from chestnuts is quickly enveloped by the sweet rum. Coconut milk with pineapple and some marzipan. Some grapefruit as well. Again quite pleasant, but the rum dominates and I’m not sure I like that.
The finish is medium long, softly seasoned and very sweet with some suntan lotion at the death.
A weird and too sweet, but certainly interesting and atypical Pittyvaich. This is only my 6th, believe it or not, but I’ve (luckily) had much better than this.