In times of COVID-19 it’s probably harder to find toilet paper than it is to find a single malt from Banff, which explains this is only the 8th I try. This Speyside distillery closed its doors already in 1983 and has been demolished. There is even only one official release: the 21 years old from 1982 in the Rare Malts Selection. This release by Chieftain’s Choice appeared in 1998, more than ten years prior to my decision of writing tasting notes. So I am allowed to call this liquid history for many reasons.
While the nose starts rather closed, it certainly pays to be patient. It becomes nicely waxy on honey, pears, beeswax and a fresh pack of paper. Quinine, candy floss, pineapple, grapefruit and some silver polish. Smells like a mix of Bladnoch and Clynelish, really. Very clean and inviting.
Soft on Turkish Delight with a touch of pepper, joined by some crystal sugar, apricots, mango and the juice of grapefruit. Grape pith give it some bitterness, but it never turns oaky – something I’ve experience with Banff before. It even has something candy-like. And something dusty, old school, which I quite like.
The finish is medium long, candy-like on candied apricots with a mild spiciness and absolutely delicious.
This was a bit of a time bomb. Starts off slowly, but what a lovely finish!