This Blair Athol was distilled in 2006 & rested for twelve years before being bottled by DS Tayman. This maturation includes a short finishing spell in a Bordeaux wine barrique.
Appearance: Sunset gold (40). A medium tide mark littered with long teardrops and thin to medium trails quickly forms. A film, sticky in appearance, coats the inside of the glass.
Nose: Quite light on the alcohol wave given the ABV, I wouldn’t guess above 50% if tasting blind. Caramel, red apple skin, pear and plum all waft around on the nose. There’s also a brown sugar-dusted crumble mellow sweetness in the mix. There’s a peach/raspberry funk that appears after a few ‘sniffs’ which is a welcome aroma. It adds a freshness to the nose and goes well with the deeper orchard fruits.
Palate: Like the nose, this is a very friendly 50+ whisky. There’s an obvious ethanol element, but it’s not overwhelming or overly dominant. The mouthfeel is hugely oily, but not thin either. Spice-forward with black pepper, lemon pepper and aniseed. A slight cloying precedes caramel, mint toffee and dark chocolate bitterness. Blackberries and strawberries start to emerge after a time, together with squirty cream and a light dusting of granulated sugar. It reminds me of strawberries and cream crepes in Majorca as a kid.
Finish: Medium to long. The mint toffee, caramel and black pepper last a decent length of time. The berries and sugar sweetness do well but fade first.
Overall: A very nice dram that I feel would be a great intro to CS whisky. Lots going on and plenty to explore. The strawberry crepe note is lovely.