A little while ago I hosted a tasting and the first dram of the night was a Banff 1975 40 Years Old from Hunter Laing. It was the most expensive bottle of the evening. Whot?
That sounds insane, I know. But just take a quick look below at the bottling strength. Indeed that’s really low and explains why we were better off drinking this whisky first. It’s cask strength still, but it does indicate that the Banff was bottled not because it was deemed at its peak, but rather close to legally losing its whisky status by falling below 40 percent abv.
Because this Banff is 40 years old already, this is not necessarily a case of a faulty cask, which often is the case when a whisky’s strength has fallen so low. And even that doesn’t mean the whisky itself is inherently bad because of it. But in general it’s not a great indicator.
Banff 1975 40 Years Old (40.6%, Hunter Laing, C# HL15364)
Nose: Very delicate with classic old school waxiness and hints of furniture polish and leather. Light tannins, a whisper of orange peel, peaches and tangerines too, as well as honey. Very lightly perfumed. Taste: As expected, the palate can’t keep up. An initial arrival with some of the sweet and fruity notes already discussed on the nose, quickly makes for tannins, cloves and subtle notes of pepper, as well as something slightly plastic-y. Finish: The aftertaste is highlighted by… by what actually? It falls flat. Very short.
The nose easily scores in the upper halve of the 80s, but the palate is more like low 70s. There’s a big discrepancy between the two. As a nosing whisky this is really nice, but that’s it.