Imperial distillery was established in 1897. Its construction coincided with Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and the year that the British Prime Minister, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, hosted the first Imperial Conference - hence the name 'Imperial'. The distillery was closed again within two years due to the Pattinson crisis and remained so for almost two decades. In 1916 it was partially acquired by Distillers Company Limited (DCL), a consortium comprised of James Buchanan, John Walker and John Dewar. Production resumed in 1919, but in 1925 the distillery was closed yet again, and in 1930 DCL took over Imperial completely. The distillery was rebuilt and reopened in 1955 but was mothballed in 1985 and sold to Allied Distillers (which would become part of the Allied Domecq conglomerate, now Pernod Ricard) in 1989. Production was restarted in 1991, however in 1998 the distillery was mothballed yet again and officially closed by Allied Domecq in 2000. It was demolished in 2013 and nothing is left apart from some old warehouses. The current owners, Chivas Brothers, plan to build a new distillery on the same site.
This particular expression was distilled on 21 August 1995 and bottled by The Ultimate on 8 December 2014 from cask #50169. This review looks at bottle #115 from a total output of 295 bottles.
The nose is dry, malty and distinctly waxy. Next, grassy flavours develop, followed by notes of caramel and a touch of cinnamon.
The palate is medium-bodied and just a little bit spicy. The main flavours are apple and liquorice, followed by more caramel.
The finish is long with a good dose of wood spice. The waxy notes from the nose are back, together with a touch of salt and a hint of vegetables.
Perfectly good whisky. A bit austere, perhaps, and what some of us might call "old-fashioned" but lovely and very drinkable overall.