Single Malts of Scotland Imperial 30 Year (1989)

Scotch Whisky Review #347: Single Malts of Scotland Imperial 30 Year (1989)

Distillery: Imperial.

Bottler: Elixir Distillers.

Region: Speyside.

Age: 30 Year. Distilled on November 1, 1989. Bottled on November 1, 2019.

ABV: 43.3%.

Cask Type: Bourbon

Cask Number: 362

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/herr_maltenberg.

Color: 0.4, Jonquil/Ripe Corn.

This is the 12th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the 2020 edition here and 2019 edition here.

Nose: Quite simple. Tons of malt barley and a mixed assortment of fruits.

Palate: It drinks a lot hotter than then advertised 43.3%, at full strength I couldn’t taste a thing. With a few drops of water, it does calm down nicely. It’s super fruity with tons and tons of orchard fruits. A variety of apples and pears come through. Notes of hay and grass also join in along with a nice basic note of malt barley.

Finish: Medium in length. The malt barley notes from the palate turn into more of malt biscuits. The mixed fruit assortment continues on here.

Conclusion: I’ve not had much Imperial but from what I’ve read and heard, it’s distillate is supposed to be quite fruity. It certainly rings true here with a mixed fruit assortment coming through from start to finish. Orchard fruits are among my favorite notes in whisky so I was quite happy to see them appear here. The bits of added hay and grass along with those fruitier notes really remind me of Linkwood and I probably would’ve guessed that had I had this blind. I didn’t get a ton of complexity out of this well aged dram, unfortunately. It drank like a much younger and much hotter than it probably should have. Not bad, quite delightful in fact, just more than a touch away from greatness in my opinion.

Final Score: 82.

Scotch Whisky Review #347, Speyside Review #127, Whisky Network Review #497

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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