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Coleburn 17 Year Old 1972 Connoisseurs Choice Gordon & Macphail


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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

5th Feb 2022


Coleburn 17 Year Old 1972 Connoisseurs Choice Gordon & Macphail
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Coleburn was a stone's throw from Longmorn and BenRiach, so in the heart of Speyside just outside the town of Elgin. The vast majority of what was distilled at the time went into Johnnie Walker Red Label. It has been closed since 1985, so this is liquid history. Distilled in 1972 – your’s truly still filled up his diapers with gusto – and bottled in 1989 – the year in which the Berlin Wall fell (and the very first episode of The Simpsons was broadcast in the US). Not surprisingly, this is only my 4th encounter with this past glory.

The first whiff is already very special. A touch of OBE in the background, but that is easily drowned out by a particularly sweet touch like warm apricot jam. And then a cartload of those gummi cherries that I loved to snack on as a child. After some breathing, it relaxes a bit and offers herbal and floral notes as well as a little candle wax. Coconut and pineapple. Hint of lemongrass. And something very old school that I can't quite identify, but which reminded me of Brora for a moment – just a moment though. Imagine that!

The body is unfortunately very light. The taste is a lot less sweet than the nose announced, but very good. Orange, pineapple, apricots wrapped in a jacket of woodsmoke and tannin. The spiciness translates to candied ginger, camphor, licorice and even a small salty edge. Ladies and gentlemen: this one is complex!

The finish is pleasant, medium long, softly spicy and becomes a bit sweeter again.

Liquid history, often something to be happy about. Still hard to find, but if you do, you can count on around 700 EUR. Crazy of course.

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