Blair Athol 9yo 55.7% ABV ( Master of Malt).

Distilled at Blair Athol in 2010, this single malt was filled into a refill hogshead, where it rested for the next nine years. In 2019, the cask was opened, and now 162 bottles join our own growing collection of independent bottlings.

Master of Malt


This whisky is very light in colour, white wine like, the swirl line is thick on my stemmed tulip glass, which drops several thick syrupy legs.


Initially I’m getting loads of stoned fruits entwined with tree bark and damp forest leaf litter. It’s quite a strong nose, the ABV really showing through. Balsa wood and wood oil then take over for me, cereals and grains also coming through. 

More time and the nose sweetens up quite a lot. It’s a real mixture of stoned and tropical fruits, and there’s a faint aroma of toasted bread, it’s almost smokey in my opinion. Green apple skin and a dash of lime eventually develop for me. (After starting to taste it, the nose started to reveal red berries).

master of malt logo


The palate is medium thick mouthfeel wise, and is instantly spicy, possible 1st fill Ex bourbon cask, I’ve not checked. White pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, and it’s quite hot. The tropical fruits from the nose are here, joined by guava, bitter lemon and grapefruit, and it stays  spicy for some time.

With time this whisky becomes a little dusty, and wood starts to show itself. Eventually the spices do abate, or the palate gets used to it, and it’s becomes nutty, macadamia nuts particularly come to mind.


The finish is long side of medium in length. The spices continue but in a reduced manner, allowing the nuts to continue, more lemon comes through, and it slowly drifts away.

blair athol distillery

My thoughts

Over the past 3-4 years i have really come to appreciate Blair Athol whisky, in particular the independently bottled varieties. This combined with the fact that Master of Malt have a habit of picking good casks has made this particular whisky one i enjoyed trying. The fact that ex bourbon cask whiskies are my favourite type may have played a part.

Yes, i enjoyed the palate very much, and it does reach into flavour zones that not all ex bourbon cask whiskies do for me, it’s a bottle i would like to have bought.

A big thank you goes out to Gordon – @Tuilalcaron on twitter, for sending out the generous sample.

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