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This sample came to me by my good friend and Bladnoch nut (or is that Blad-nut?) Hershl Berman. One of the slightly older bottlings (there are sheep on the label, which is kind of cool), this 12 year old was fully matured in a sherry cask. The bottle has been open for about 18 months.
The colour is a deep gold. On the nose you get rich sherry (almost winey) notes: rum raisin, dates, rich leather and red apple skins. Papaya and red berries. A bit of orange. Meaty, like a rich prosciutto. Balsamic. Dark chocolate. Water flattens the nose. Not what you would expect from a Lowlander, though you can sense the delicacy behind the rich sherry cask.
On the palate, rich with more berries, dates and chocolate. Chewy mouthfeel. Both red wine and balsamic vinegars. Hint of ginger. The oak is showing itself more prominently now. Though it reduces the nose, water spices up the palate. Beautifully done.
The finish is long and deep with more rum raisin, baking spices and oak tannins. This is amazing stuff - your grandfather's scotch, which they just don't make like this anymore (no, really, I'm not just saying that, they don't - Bladnoch has changed hands since this was made and I bet this style won't be seen from them again). Sherry casks are not like this anymore - it reminds me a bit of the old G&M Mortlach 15. Definitely one to treasure and spend time with.