Whisky Connosr

Banff 38yo 1975/2013 Malts of Scotland

Dijon Raspberry

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@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

15th Sep 2015


Banff 38yo 1975/2013 Malts of Scotland
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Banff one of those distilleries almost entirely scrapped from the Speyside annals, widely loved by those who got a taste, but so much more obscure than many other of her lost contemporaries. To put it simply: popular like a Port Ellen, beclouded like a Glenesk. Now that nature is slowly reclaiming the last few standing walls on site, it might be interesting to get yourself a bottle or sample to enjoy the last few drops.

Description: distilled in 1975, matured for 38 years in a Bourbon cask #13056 and bottled by Malts of Scotland at 43.7% ABV.

Nose: what on god’s green earth is this? An off-nose of antiquated cheap Eau de Cologne, rust and fermenting orange peel. But if given time to breath properly, it acquires much more depth: a pinch of Dijon mustard (classic Banff, according to the true connoisseurs), oak shavings, along herbal notes of fresh basil leaves and a menthol edge to complete the ensemble.

Mouth: very smooth, gentle and fresh. I would like to describe it as raspberry accompanied by tiny metallic notes, spiced up with wasabi and herbal liquor.

Finish: short but powerful. A mouth drying, dark and ashy taste, like a spicy porter aged in a whisky cask.

Verdict: some of these elder casks make you forget everything you think you know about whisky. A cathedral of a nose matched with an equally stunning palate. But this fresh new experience comes at a price, a bottle like this will easily set you back €500.

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Victor commented

Interesting. The 'metallic notes' sounds like Old Bottle Effect (OBE). I can't say I have any experience with OBE, but metallic notes are usually described as part of the package.

Did you put out the 500 euros for a bottle, or were you just curious to sample it? At 500 euros, I would be sampling before buying a bottle for sure.

Those old malts from the 50s, 60s, and 70s do very definitely have some qualities which are very hard to find in the recently produced malts of today.

8 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

OBE effect is out of the question here, it was bottled only two years ago. I never payed more than €120 on a single bottle, I find more pleasure in tracing down an inexpensive off-profile whisky or a hidden gem.

For these kind of bottles I just go for the samples. Cause for that same €500 that you would normally spend on one exclusive bottle, you could easily explore thirty or more other vintage gems, don't you think?

The margin for error used to be higher than now, direct heated coal fired stills, no electronics to keep check on the whole process. Some strange unmarketable were conceived in those days. What impresses me most is the unusual aroma combinations you can get in the nose of these old drams

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

Of course, bottled in 2013. My mistake.

There are certainly very interesting flavour effects which you get with the older malts and rarely see in the more recent releases.

Yes, like you, I would also much rather try a large number of products than sink a large wad of money into a single bottle. And if I am spending more than about $ 100 for a bottle it is almost always going to be for something which I already know and consider to be a top favourite.

8 years ago 0