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The St Magdalene distillery from the Lowlands was closed in 1983. This is a 23 year old expression, distilled in 1982 and bottled in 2006 in the so-called Old Malt Cask series by the Glasgow based independent bottler Douglas Laing (founded in 1948). DL seems to have quite a few casks from 1982, for they have bottled a few already.
Old Malt Cask is a series of bottlings that were introduced in 1998. The whisky is always non chill-filtered at what DL calls ‘the Golden Strength’, i.e. an ABV of 50%.
Oh, my! This nose is much better than the one of the official 1970 Rare Malts edition. Very fruity with lime, tangerines and apples. The smoke is there, surely, but in an agreeable, balanced way. It’s quite oily and a little waxy (candlewax). It has a bit of a coastal character with hints of seewead and oysters. Intriguing.
Wonderfully mouthcoating with that smoky body. A bold continuation of the nose on the palate, but with much more outspoken fruit, such as pears, lime and even lychees. Marmalade! A touch of peat, yes, but overall sweet. I do not even want to add water to this one, my sample is simply too good undiluted. Quite peppery.
The finish… Oh, man, this makes you happy! Longer than the forming of a Belgian government, but much more interesting, since this makes you smile all the time.
Quite different from the 1970 Rare Malts (also 23 years old). This one has a lot more depth. There is constantly something going on and it keeps developing in the mouth. This was a very good and intriguing cask. From time to time you come across a whisky that makes you think ‘I’ve got to have this’. Well, this is one of them. For the price of the 1970 Rare Malts you can get two of these St Magdalene’s from Douglas Laing. Nuff said!