The Banff distillery has been silent since 1983. Official bottlings are few and far between. This is one of them: the Banff 1982 in the Rare Malts Selection, bottled in 2004. This is only my 7th encounter with this lost malt from the Speyside.
The nose is very clean and does not offer up a lot of aroma at first… I get some citrus, paper and oatmeal. Only after some patience that is joined by some honey, vanilla and juicy pears. Give it another extra five minutes to settle and it will reward you with some pineapple, melon and silver polish. Pleasant enough if you are patient.
It starts quite fruity and feisty on the palate, but quickly the wood starts to dominate, turning it quite bitter. While it remains sweet (vanilla, crystal sugar) and somewhat waxy, a sour note appears as if from grapefruit and quinine. But it is mostly the tannins that ruin the fun here. It becomes quite sharp and water does not save it.
That bitterness becomes quite big in the medium finish, which is not a good thing in my book.
Good nose for those who wait, but on the palate and mostly in the finish, the wood is simply tool oud. Thanks, Chris!