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Thanks to the generosity of a fellow Connosr member @fiddich1980 I was able to obtain this sample a couple of years ago. It's not often one gets to try a whisky from 70's vintage and I'm glad to get another crack at it.
This would have been distilled using barley malted on site and also the year which they switched to partial triple-distillation (I won't attempt to try and explain it). Needles to say this should be rather interesting.
Nose: Delicate to start, green tea, vegetable oils, slight hay/grass. soft grains and a lovely putty/mineral note. Not very fruity, there is light apple/melon but so very faint. Slightly farmy but we're talking grain farm, marigolds, hay, dusty oak, earthen floor. With time I pick up slight sherry notes but feels more like a Fino sherry, yeasty, dry, slight green olive/almond. (this could simply be old bottle effect or age).
Palate: Full, round, sweet, oily with a slight pleasant feinty side. Honey, tinned fruit, a touch of gunpowder green tea. Aspririn tablets, herbal tea, a little quinine, lime peel. The mouthfeel is a bit drying, definitely some lovely spirity side, dark notes, a touch of ginseng root too. Peppery and vegetal, a sharpness akin to horseradish, touches of hemp.
Finish: Old tobacco, a bit of menthol/parsley, resin and clay.
Blab: Wow! They don't make a lot of whisky like this anymore, beyond the age (both of the whisky and the bottle aging) this thing has barely any fruit in it, hasn't been clobbered by too many fresh overactive casks. There's all these grain and earthy notes and then all the medicinal, herbal things.
If I compare it with the modern Benrinnes, you can find some commonalities, the feinty side, the mineral, peppery, almost chinchonna bark thing. The modern one though is definitely getting a lot of fruit and sweetness from the bourbon cask. This 74 is austere as a mofo, but pleasantly so, like a visit to an old time apothecary or herbalist.