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Blair Athol 12 Year Old

Average score from 7 reviews and 19 ratings 82

Blair Athol 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Blair Athol
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Series: Flora & Fauna
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Blair Athol 12 Year Old

This is the Flora and Fauna bottling from Diageo that I believe will be ceased, if it isn't already, in the not too distant future. Thankfully there are some bottles out there. It retails at c£50.

This bottle has been open a month or so with just over two thirds left. Review is with no water added to a 30ml pour left 15 mins or so.

Nose - Sweet and dry sherry but leaning to the latter. Fresh raisins and soft dried figs with a little vanilla if you persist. There's some leather and pale blonde tobacco notes. Slight minerality or chalky note too with a hint of match box that's well integrated. Nutty and a waft of peat smoke - again persistence pays off with this nose.

Taste - Good mouthfeel, full and rich (jammy?). Similar to the nose really with a fruity arrival that's sweeter than expected, some of that leather note comes as it develops and then a tang of peat at the end. Robust.

Finish - Medium. Leaves a nice rich, fruity coating with a touch of peat tingling the tongue. Quite dry at the end.

Water simply reduces all that's there without really adding anything new - much better neat.

This is a very enjoyable and moreish whisky that caps off a meal really nicely. A rich fireside dram if ever there was one. If nit picking, it possibly veers too close to the overt sweet sherry side but just about maintains a nice balance of flavours. I'd have this again but for the same money, give or take a few pounds, I'd probably get a 'farclas 15 instead. The waft of peat smoke does sit well with this style though and dare I say it seems like an old fashioned kind of malt. A shame there's not more OBs out there really.

@archivist, have you been getting your Glenfarclas 15 yo delivered to you from abroad? It isn't sold in the USA. We've gotten all of ours in or from Canada.

@Victor Yes - it's from Canada! We have friends in Vancouver, and they make frequent trips to Washington state as they have family there. So we pre-arrange schedules and meet them up in Washington and then bring it back down. Believe me, I have a long "shopping" list now that many of the whiskeys discussed here are from Canada or my closest place to get them is there...my poor friends...


Nose: nutty, peat, smoky bacon, sherry, malt. Palate: Smoke, malt, lemons, dried fruit, cinnamon toast. Finish: Long, smoky and sweet that turn drying.

A remarkable surprise. A really nice smoky peated malt. Well balanced, smooth mouth feel, engaging and very Moorish.

For me there was a overbearing taste of stale walnuts on the finish that ruined this for me.


From a 3cl sample bottle. Blair Athol is fairly unknown as a single malt as aside from this flora and fauna bottling most of the distillery output goes into Bell's blends. That's not really a glowing endorsement in my book and from my personal experience of Bell's, but actually I really enjoyed this.

Nose - Coffee first up, tiramisu, rich toffee, vanilla fudge, pine, conifers, a slight acetone note, dark chocolate, roasted hazelnuts, digestive biscuits, Christmas pudding, dried fruits, glace cherries, raisins, old leather.

Palate - Sweet initial arrival of brittle toffee and sweetened black coffee that becomes very nutty and biscuity in the mid palate development, with roasted hazelnuts, praline and dark chocolate bitterness, and finally some hints of spicy cloves, nutmeg and allspice.

Finish- Very dry with hazelnuts, praline and toffee, some pine and toasted oak flavours.

There seems to be a fair amount of sherry matured whisky making up this malt, with lovely biscuity, nutty, coffee and chocolate notes on the nose and palate. The finish is where it falls down a little, which is quite short and simple. Nevertheless a very tasting malt worth a try if you like this style.


Bought this bottle about a year ago, on what was supposed to be my last day in Scotland as an exchange student. My plane would leave late in the evening, so I got up early, got on a bus going to Pitlochry, for one last distillery visit. It had been raining all week (not that unusual) but the small streams in Pertshire clearly couldn't handle that much rain no longer and the burn at the distillery transformed into a wild stream. I didn't plan on buying another bottle, as my luggage was already getting too heavy, but I was sufficiently charmed by the 12yo flora and fauna that I returned with two bottles. On the way back I got stuck in traffic as the people of Edinburgh apparently were all trying to get out of the city and get to the airport, so eventually I missed my flight and had to book another one two days later. So even though I payed only 38£ per bottle, the added price of one hell of an expensive ticket back home (about 10 times the price of this 12yo) makes it my most expensive bottle.

Nose: Heavily sherried and nutty (it always amazes me how I always smell the sherry first, the nuts come afterwards), smoke, scents of peat

Taste: Fruity, again that distinctive sherry taste, spicy: black pepper, roasted chestnuts. It is actually quite hot for a 43%

Finish: Hot and warm afterglow, peat and orange peels. But leaves you with quite the dry mouth.

Conclusion: Well I must admit this has become one of my favorite drams, it might not be a very complex malt, but it certainly has its charms. Finding a bottle might prove to be difficult, although the distillery has an output of about 2500000l of pure alcohol/year, only 1% is bottled as a single malt. But if you come across this bottle, it's well worth picking it up.


First hit on the nose is vanilla - very strong. Underlying that is dried fruit - raisins, sultanas, figs. The fruit and vanilla combines like Christmas cake. A nice cinammon spiciness is evident too. Gentle and mellow.

Quite a rich full-bodied mouthfeel too - more so than I'd expect from a 12yo. Again fruit dessert flavours dominate with the vanilla arriving a bit later. Spices are there too.

The finish is initially sweet but quickly fades to be overly bitter. Which is a pity as until that point this dram was above expectations. If the disappointing finish can be forgiven though, this is worth a try. Especially with it being blend-fodder and rarely released as single malt.


This flora and fauna 12 year old is the only official distillery bottling and it is a full bodied whisky matured in sherry casks.

Nose: Sticky toffee pudding, dark fruits, rich and spicy. Ginger cake. Hint of citrus. Taste: Rich fruit cake. Rounded, nutty and spicy. Robust sherry but never over-heavy.


Blair Atholl is part of Diageo's Flora & Fauna range. It's a Highland Malt and mainly matured in ex-bourbon refills and some ex-sherry casks.

Caramel, coffee cream and nuts are there on the nose, there's rich fruit and citrus, leather too. A complex nose.

The palate is chunky and rich fruit, with spice, maybe cinnamon, and creamy milk chocolate struggling to make an appearance, the spice warming and encouraging, some tannin and honey mixing pleasantly.

Having just poured another which is slightly colder, there is more of a floral and fruityness to it. Still that spice.

The finish is long fruity and spiced numbness.

When you buy this whisky it will become one of your favourates make no mistake.

Nice review Rex, adding to the wish list.

Me too, this sounds very nice.

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