Old Malt Cask Blair Athol 19 Year Sherry Butt (1995)

Scotch Whisky Review #288: Old Malt Cask Blair Athol 19 Year Sherry Butt (1995)

Distillery: Blair Athol

Bottler: Hunter Laing

Region: Speyside

Age: 19 year. Distilled in October of 1995 and bottled in July of 2015.

ABV: 50.0%

Cask Type: Sherry Cask

Price: $108.

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.

Nose: (according to the wife) It’s a bit fruity. Pineapples and raisins are the main notes here. There is some vanilla bean and butterscotch as well.

Palate: It’s slightly hot at full strength. It’s tastes of liquefied caramel creme candies with a hint of raisin dust. Sherry comes through, quite richly as well. With a couple of drops of water, you get a some more fruits come out. There’s citrus rinds, dried dark cherries and a some dried cranberries. A nutty, savory note of toasted grains pops in, I’m reminded of Mary’s Gone Crackers. More raisins appear as you go as well.

Finish: Long. Caramel creme appears again with rich oak. Notes of seville marmalade and chocolate come through. It tastes an awful like an upgraded jaffa cake. Dark cherry jelly slathered on almond biscuits come through as well. With water, some vanilla and creamier elements come out. The combination of these flavors are reminiscent of a holiday ice cream pie we got last year from our local ice cream shop.

Conclusion: This Old Malt Cask bottling of Blair Athol is my first introduction to this distillery. It gave me quite the scare with the cork breaking as I went to open it. Thankfully, the time spent on decanting and cork removal was worth it. The nose is a bit closed off compared to the rest of the whisky but it does point to good things to come. The palate is an absolutely rich, liquefied caramel creme along with dried fruits and savory toasted crackers. The finish is fantastic with a few dessert treats. All and all, a really great whisky!

Final Score: 86.

Scotch Whisky Review #288, Highland Review #55, Whisky Network Review #431

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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