This old blend was a recommendation for Malt n Copper by [TWE] Billy, as a decent yet affordable example of what an old blend can be. A 5cl sample was generously donated to me by Spam and the Foz from a tasting I couldn’t attend, a sample I’ve been savouring/harbouring for the right moment. I heard it was a club night highlight.
N: The descriptors I’ll be using to describe this whisky may seem similar to how I might describe many other, more contemporary whiskies, but ‘smoke’ and ‘leather’ from 1940s bottles is very different from smoke and leather from contemporary drams. With that in mind, we have some smoke, but it’s more sooty really with additional notes of bacon, slightly dusty OBE-ed oak & vegetal sweet old leathery [gherkin] brine into malty honeyed biscuits, old & slightly perished biscuit tins, a drop of apple cider vinegar, a black tar-like oily lactose note, violets, furniture polish,.,,,, much like many an old blend from this era yet vastly different in style to contemporary blended whiskies. Thankfully, this bottle is positively intact, enough to tell a tale of production methods from a bygone era. In fact, it’s up there with many dream dram old malts that appear [frequently at the G&M and whisky.auction stands, for example] at whisky shows in the form of Strathisla, Glen Grant, Longmorn,… In fact, this’ll give many of them a run for their money. For a fabulous nose becoming fabulous-er, it’s the creamy sootiness I admire the most.
T: Just when so many of these old blends die on the palate after the arrival, this one gathers itself, forming into a [berry/nettle-leafy-vegetal-sweet sooty and briny] salivating gooey chew,,… on and on [and Ariston],….
F: ,…. into a burnt old bitter/charcoal-ed woodiness followed by rich consolidated light-syrupy honeyed barley bitter-sweet sugars. Expect a few in-and-out waves from the arrival until the death with plenty of ashy/woody sugary ripples thereafter. Aside from the flavour action, the bone-dry salivating mouthfeel is where it’s at, a textural quality rarely found in the majority of whiskies either contemporary or old & rare.
C: It’s easy to see why this whisky was celebrated by MnC club members. What a cracker! Would this have been so good when first bottled? With so much emphasis and interest around new distilleries at this moment in whiskey’s history – £100+ price-points for 3yo whisky with 90+ scores – it’s compelling to remember the other side. With thanks to the Foz and Spam.