Duncan Taylor Rarest of the Rare Banff 37 Year (1975)

Scotch Whisky Review #387: Duncan Taylor Rarest of the Rare Banff 37 Year (1975)

Distillery: Banff.

Bottler: Duncan Taylor.

Region: Highland.

Age: 37 Year. Distilled in August of 1975. Bottled in September of 2012.

Cask Number: 2232.

ABV: 45.1%. Cask Strength.

Price: Full bottle cost around $1,150. Sample courtesy of /u/_asipper.

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: It is incredibly, incredibly fruity. There’s a ton of fruity notes which comes across as a really fun fruit salad. Canned mandarin orange bits and honeydew melon. Some wine notes come through, muscat at first and then followed by a note that reminds me a lot of ice wine. There’s a bit of must, a bit of earthiness, and a bit of clean linen that all comes through. The combination of smells is just intoxicating and I took a long time before I could move on from the nose because of how good it is.

Palate: The palate is fairly thick, it’s almost chewy in texture. Flavor wise though, it is an absolute tropical fruit bomb. I’m not sure I’ve had anything with more tropical fruit notes packed in. Notes of pineapple juice, passionfruit, guanabana juice, and starfruit all come out for me. There are more fruity notes that I can’t quite place, but it makes for quite a tropical fruit cocktail.

Finish: What finish? It absolutely just vanishes in an instant. There’s the tiniest hint of an aromatic note but overall, it’s super dry and super gone super fast.

Conclusion: In the never ending game of adult Pokemon that is trying every distillery (as /u/b1uepenguin would put it), Banff is one that’s hard to come by. It is described as the “unluckiest distillery” given that it burned down on multiple occasions, the last one being just as the final part of the distillery was being knocked down, and also bombed during World War 2. I had no idea what to expect going into this, given how little Banff even exists, but I was hoping for something fun at least and this Duncan Taylor bottling mostly delivered. The nose is an absolute delight, the fruit bomb mixed with the bit of must, earth, and linen is fantastic. The palate delivers the most tropical whisky I’ve had to date with more fruits in it than I can name. The finish, however, is nothing short of an absolute let down. It vanishes for seemingly no reason. It doesn’t even leave you wanting more, just simply frustrated. /u/federalagents has speculated that this cask might have been better suited to have been better if it was bottled a couple years earlier and I’m inclined to agree, perhaps it spend too long of a time asleep. Still, I’m incredibly happy to have tried this and enjoy how mostly incredible it is.

Final Score: 88.

Scotch Whisky Review #387, Highland Review #76, Whisky Network Review #541

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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