The one good thing about an independent bottler is the wide variety of well age, age stated single malt whiskies at decent prices. A 21 year old speyside whisky for a two digit price tag has the potential to be one of those kind of bargains.
The Blair Athol distillery is commonly associated with the Bells blended whisky brand. In fact the distillery reputation I would say is hampered by the Bells visitor experience when you visit the distillery. While apparently the main single malt component may or may not be from this distillery, make no mistake that there is good well made whisky here. You just have to know where to find it.
The distillery was founded in 1798 but was closed soon after. The distillery was opened and closed many times over the years by quite a handful of different owners but the current version of the distillery in Pitlochry was rebuilt in 1949 by Arther Bell and Sons where the current number of four stills was added.
Bottled under the Old Particular range from Douglas Laing this is 21 year old single cask whisky. The Old Particular range tends to all be the more high quality drams over there Provenance range so I have high hopes for this one.
The whisky was aged in a sherry butt full term and bottled June 2017 at a cask strength of 51.2%ABV. There are probably not many if any of the 321 bottles which were produced which were a snip under £90 when they were available.
Colour – orange marmalade
Nose – Christmas cakes, spiced oranges and generally just loads of Christmas time goodness. There is a slight whiff of smoke in there as well.
Palate – The palate nicely follows the noses and there is also more charred notes from well toasted oak and a little tannic honeyed note as well.
Finish – Caramel brings a little sweetness to the finish which ends with a bitter tannic bite to complete things off.
Another lovely dram from Douglas Laing and one which I was looking forward to trying. I wasn’t disappointed and I hope you manage to find one out there for yourself.