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Master of Malt North British 20 Year Old 1991 Single Cask

Is this a bourbon?!

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@galgReview by @galg

11th Oct 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Time for another of Master of Malts latest single casks.This was distilled on the 22nd January 1991, and was aged in a first fill bourbon barrel for 20 years before bottling in March 2011. A single cask release of 244 bottles, non-chillfiltered, and has not been caramel coloured.

North British is not one of the most famous of distilleries, and is producing Grain whisky. In fact this is my first North British bottling ever, so i have nothing to compare it to, but it’s a good one, no doubt.

Nose: this is a bourbon right ? MoM just put on the wrong labels didn’t they ? They must have. Wait …. What a bourbon-y nose on this one. Amazing. Sweet , maple, thick marmalade , cinnamon. what a stunner! Palate : Sweet, with tanny qualities. Sugar , maple , honey and spice with candied ginger. Dark chocolate. This reminds me more of a buffalo trace antique collection Whisky than a scotch grain whisky. cool! Finish: Espresso with dark chocolate and burnt sugar.

This is a little stunner. I never expected a North British to be that good, and boy what a wonderful Bourbon influence. An excellent after meal dram, sweet and wonderful. Great stuff. and again, a very good price tag.It’s also available by the dram, so i really recommend you try even a wee dram of this, and fall in love.

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Victor commented

A first refill bourbon barrel will still have a good bit of "juice" left in the oak to add to the flavour. What is the "grain" here, do you know? Is it all corn? A corn whiskey aged in wood, even if it is not new wood, is likely to be far more flavoured by the wood than by the "grain". If this is made from wheat, then you are talking about a whiskey that becomes, after long aging, to resemble something somewhat akin to Pappy Van Winkle 20 yo or William Larue Weller, the latter being from the Sazerac Antique Collection. What you have described is, of course, absent a brand new barrel, an American style whisk(e)y. It is not surprising that it tastes like one.

9 years ago 0

galg commented

@victor, yes, basically, but still,i've tasted quite a few grains and this one is wee diffeent. ;)

9 years ago 0

Victor commented

@galg, I am guessing that this one was aged in fresher more robust wood than others you have sampled.

9 years ago 0

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