White Horse Fine Old Scotch Whisky (1980s)
White Horse is one of the better know blended whiskies and has been around for ages. Bottlings from many decades ago, even from the 1940s and 1950s, often hit auctions. They are highly sought after, partly because those really old bottlings are said to contain whisky from that elusive Islay distillery, Malt Mill.
Now the bottle from which my sample was taken, is from the 1980s. Not nearly as old, but still bottled some good thirty years ago. It doesn’t have an age statement, but as this was bottled right in the middle of the ‘whisky loch’-era, there’s probably a good amount of well-aged whisky in here. Why? Because back then they had A LOT of whisky, and had no idea what to do with it.
It’s hard to determine what whiskies exactly were used for this White Horse from the 1980s, but it’s safe to say a decent portion of Lagavulin was included.
White Horse Fine Old Scotch Whisky (40%, OB, 1980s)
Nose: Needed a little time to open up, but now it’s lovely. Sweet honey and fudge with lemon grass and a whiff of apricots, accompanied by just a tiny bit of smoke. Finally some soy.
Taste: We’ve got honey, butterscotch and oranges, followed by a good amount of licorice and cinnamon. There’s a whiff of wood smoke, and trace amounts of peat. Finally just a slight metallic/sour quality, which I attribute to some bottle aging gone wrong. Nothing too bad though.
Finish: Honey and spices, a bit of smoke. Medium in length.
Very, very decent stuff, with just a few off-notes on the palate. Still, this can easily compete with many modern single malts.
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.