Pittyvaich 20yo (Special Release 2009)
Many a closed distillery has gone on to legendary status, most notably Brora, Port Ellen and also Karuizawa. Then there’s also another set of closed distilleries, who are maybe not as well-known, but have certainly produced some legendary whisky. Think St. Magdalene, Lochside, Glenugie and Convalmore, just to name a few.
And then we have Pittyvaich. Closed? Yes. Legendary? Not even. Founded in 1975, closed in 1993 and demolished in 2002. That is an exceptional short lifespan for a distillery. It was built to provide simple, standard whisky for the Bell’s blend. Not exactly the stuff of legends. You won’t find too many independent bottlings (the last one is a G&M from 2012). And there are almost no official releases: a 12yo Flora & Fauna and a 20yo that was part of Diageo’s Special Releases back in 2009. Today we review the latter.
Pittyvaich 20yo (57,5%, OB, 6000 bts.)
Nose: Very malty and dusty. This needs time. Some wood shavings. Slightly grassy, mainly straw and hay. Some ginger, lemon and apple. And a hint of cookie dough.
Taste: Sharp and peppery (chili), followed by grapefruit, vanilla and some lemon zest. A speck of coffee.
Finish: Drying and oaky. Malt. Lemon.
Like I said earlier, not the stuff of legends. There are some interesting aroma’s and flavours. But it’s too immature, hard too believe this has aged for 20 years.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.