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One of the few official bottlings from Blair Ahtol is this 27 Year Old from 1975, released by Diageo in their Rare Malts Selection. Diageo took control of the distillery in 1998, acquiring it from Arthur Bell’s & Sons. My list shows that this is only the sixth Blair Athol that I tried. Got to get me some more of this stuff.
The nose is very complex and waxy, herbal with fruity notes. Figs on top, upholstered with apples, oranges, sultanas and a leaf of mint. Hints of praline, even some mocha. A touch of fudge and quite a lot of spices. Very pleasant. And it swims very well, without changing the nose too much.
It is creamy and round, very tasty and spicy. That is the palate in a nutshell. Punchy too. The spices are more outspoken, now. Cloves, coriander, black pepper. Orange liqueur and a hint of milk chocolate. A bit of oak as well, but far from drying. It remains juicy. Diluted it becomes sweeter and a little kirsch-like, which is not an advantage.
The finish is long, sweet and spicy. And in the end a bit drying.
Let us not beat around the bush, this is a great Blair Athol (but do not add too much water). I find it quite surprising that this distillery is somewhat unknown, for they have quite some nice malts. This one can no longer be found below 200 EUR, though.