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The boys of whiskybase.com released this 50 Year Old grain in their so-called Fourth Release from Archives. A tour the force for Menno and his crew. It was distilled at North British in 1962 and the hogshead yielded only 168 bottles.
Immediately after pouring this dram, the nose starts its seduction. Of course vanilla, coconut and even banana are present, but loads of other scents upholster this beautiful 50 Year Old. Melon, tobacco leaves and candid sugar. Baked apples. Forrest scents as well, as if you are walking through the woods during a mild shower with a caramelized apple in hand. Cozy around an open fire. And then suddently it becomes almost tropical, for crying out loud. Some mango, oranges and pineapple. This is one schizophrenic grain! But what a joy!
It is very soft on the palate. It lacks a bit of punch. The fruit (with banana and pineapple in the lead) is nicely spiced with cardamom and mint, again some tobacco leaves and some wet moss. But those who are expecting a truckload of drying oak will be happily surprised. None of that! Wonderful, sweet and eminently quaffable.
The finish is somewhat drying towards the death, but that is easily forgiven. Could have been a touch longer, though.
This is probably the best grain I have tried so far. So complex, so diverse. A little more punch would secure a spot in my 90+ booklet. Was only 150 EUR at the time. It is no surprise that it is now long gone. Thank you, Jos, for the generous sample.