Blair Athol 1988/2016 Signatory Vintage (for TWE)
Blair Athol is one of the lesser known Diageo distilleries, and isn’t even the most famous distillery in the small town of Pitlochry. Than honour goes to Edradour. Nonetheless they can make some excellent sherry style whisky. As today’s whisky is an example of. Signatory Vintage (yes, the owners of Edradour) bottled a refill sherry butt from 1988 specially for The Whisky Exchange.
A while ago I tasted another Blair Athol from 1988, bottled by Dutch indie bottler Van Wees. But it’s no secret they get most (if not all) of their casks from Signatory Vintage. That particular one didn’t impress me much. I wonder if this TWE-exclusive will be to my liking.
Blair Athol 1988/2016 (55,7%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, C#6845)
Nose: Syrupy sherry notes of cherries, blackcurrants and dates go hand in hand with a more forest-y side. Decaying leafs and wet tree bark. Also tobacco and caramel, and after a while even some soy sauce.
Taste: Big sherry here, with lots of thick flavours of fruit (plums, berries), espresso and chocolate. Followed by mint, tobacco and more spicier notes, as well as earl grey tea.
Finish: More espresso and chocolate, ending on a fruity note. Long.
A very good, big, sherried whisky with a bit of an old school edge. Available for 120 pounds at The Whisky Exchange.
Sample provided by The Whisky Exchange
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.