Dramtime, the whisky webshop of Dutch retailer Frans Muthert, celebrated its 10th anniversary last week. It’s easily one of the better stores in the Netherlands, well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. And the webshop just received a welcome facelift. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my international readers may have placed an order at some point.
But anyway, to celebrate, Dramtime released a Blair Athol 2008 15 Years in parnership with Dutch independent bottler Whiskydudes. It initially matured in a refill butt and was finished in a fresh Amontillado blood tub. I don’t think I’ve had many whiskies finished or matured in such a blood tub, a tiny cask that holds 35 or 40 litres of spirit. Predictably, the outturn for this Blair Athol was modest – only 50 bottles. All sold out, I’m afraid.
Blair Athol 2008 15 Years (56.9%, Whiskydudes for Dramtime, C#300990C)
Nose: Opening up on slivers of molasses and golden syrup, accompanied by sultanas, orange zest and a hint of dunnage floors. Also a good amount of polished oak, tobacco and nutty aromas. Just a touch of mint in the background, as well as a discrete herbaceous quality and gentle cinnamon. Taste: Mouthfeel is rather viscous and pretty on point. Sweet, honey-esque initially, but quickly moving on to rather intense notes of cracked black peppercorn, ginger roasted peanuts and a whiff of smoke. Then the tobacco leaves appear, as well as a slight grassiness. Finish: Medium in length. Lingering oak spices with tinge of mint. Finally a touch of cocoa powder. Somewhat dry.
A proper drop of whisky. The nose is very refined, albeit clearly cask-forward. And the oak is pretty present on the palate as well, but more so in a spicy kind of way. That is to be expected, a blood tub is tiny after all, but I would've preferred a little less of a punch.