This Blair Athol from 1988 was handpicked by The Whisky Exchange from the stocks of Signatory. Signatory’s warehouses can in fact be found in Pitlochry (at the Edradour distillery), a mere 7 kilometres from the Blair Athol distillery. Just a little fun fact. The cask yielded 565 bottles, which can still be ordered from the TWE website and even engraved – which is exactly what the wife of my whiskybuddy Jonny ordered. And Jonny graciously offered me a sample.
Oh, my! I have only just poured a dram and immediately the room is filled with a wonderfully sweet scent of coffee beans, milk chocolate, dried peach, thym and eucalyptus, orange liqueur, cherry pith and marzipan. Not really a sherry bomb, but very nice indeed.
It is very creamy and does not burn despite the high ABV. That does not mean it isn’t powerful. Au contraire. Wonderfully sweet and very spicy. The palate is riddled with blood oranges (on steroids, obviously), cloves and garden herbs. Apricot pastry kicks in. Maybe even some rhubarb. Nicely balanced.
The finish is wonderfully long, sweet & sound and spicy and leaves the mouth dry.
This is the 20th Blair Athol that I have tried so far. I could have done much worse. Still available at TWE for around 140 EUR sans engraving. Thanks, Jonny & Eef!