I've had to wait a long time for it, but I don't complain. After all, I received the bottle as a gift from Dearly Beloved for my birthday. Then patience is appropriate. This fourth Ghost & Rare edition (after the Brora, Port Ellen and Glenury Royal) has Pittyvaich as the fingerprint malt and that's a good thing, because in 2021 there was no Pittyvaich in the Diageo Special Releases. Moreover, I was afraid that after the first three – which were followed by the Blue Label Legendary Eight (which is excellent) – no new Ghost & Rare would appear. So double relief. Anyway: this blend is composed with whisky from the following distilleries: Cragganmore, Royal Lochnagar, Strathmill, Mannochmore, Auchroisk, Carsebridge, Port Dundas and – of course – Pittyvaich. Like its predecessors, it is bottled at 43.8%.
The nose starts suspiciously simple on vanilla and toffee, supplemented with a good dose of honey. But after a few minutes of breathing, the fruity party begins: poached pears and baked apples with some soft cinnamon. But then guimauve (hooray!), coconut and beeswax follow each other in rapid succession: Pittyvaich is in da house! But it's not done yet: some apricot in its own juice, mint and chestnuts follow. You have to take your time for it, but then you notice that this is an intriguing whisky.
Oh, what a body! Nice and waxy and mouth-filling, evolving to silky soft despite a spicy pepper and some cloves, followed by licorice and cinnamon. The toffee and apples return, followed by dried mango, sultanas and orangettes (orange jam in chocolate). Heather honey, vanilla and a hint of chewing tobacco. Rich and round. Midpalate some candied ginger and fresh wood shavings rear their heads. Becomes nice and layered and complex.
The finish is delicious. It all starts sweet and fruity to slowly but surely turn into dry and spicy. Orange peels on the deathbed. Magnificent.
Fantastic stuff, again. Not only do they look great (yes, I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging). And they are so wonderfully different too. Around 300 EUR.