Last November, while in Edinburgh, I got of the tram at Murrayfield Stadium and crossed the street to the North British Distillery. Unfortunately it is not open to the public and my request to take some photos – even if only from the buildings – fell on deaf ears. Anyway, I did get hold of a 28 years old from 1990 that matured on a first fill sherry cask and still retained an ABV of 61%. It’s a recent bottling by Gordon & Macphail. Well, well, will you look at that colour. It’s almost like cola.
Ha, speaking of which, it even smells a bit like cola! Dark and sweet nose on chocolate, rum raisins, fresh figs and dates. Plum marmalade. Paxarette. Cold coffee. Tobacco. In the back I also get some struck matches and even a whiff of sulfur. For a moment I feared this would dominate and spoil things, but luckily it does not, making this grain very dark, sweet and absolutely delicious on the nose.
The arrival is pretty oily and spicy, but quaffable without diluting. Sweet and sour, now. Bitter oranges, both juicy and candied, again rum raisins and plums. Then some maraschino cherries kick in with some mint. It even turns a bit umami. Worchestershire sauce! Very good.
It is all about sherry and paxarette, but little whisky, in the long finish. At least as far as I can detect. But… it works!
I don’t believe I would have called this whisky if tasted blind, but it is certainly tasty. By the way: it’s the very first grain whisky bottled by Gordon & Macphail in their so-called Connoisseurs Choice series.