Blair Athol – one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, founded in 1798 – is run by Diageo since 1998. The lion’s share of production goes into the Bell’s blend so official releases are few and far between. Luckily, it can often be found with independent bottlers. This is one from the fairly new Italian bottler Valinch & Mallet.
The nose is sweet on Turkish Delight and the sugared peel of both oranges and grapefruit. Nice hints of white chocolate and eucalyptus. Icing sugar. A drop of balsamic and some sulatana. Apricot pastry. Very summery and fresh.
Sturdy arrival on the palate with all the fruit from the nose, upholstered with loads of spices. Chili pepper, nutmeg and a pinch of saffron. The balsamic returns. Citrus takes the lead, followed closely by peach on syrup.
The finish is medium long on more of the same, with a slight bitterness at the death.
Grand Blair Ahtol, no two ways about it. Good strength as well. Around 180 EUR. Thank you, Peter of Anverness, for the sample!