This was the last sample that arrived in 2022, and it’s nothing to sneeze at. A Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 1988 34 Years bottled by Spheric Spirits. You may have heard of them. I’ve written about them before, but their whiskies have turned heads elsewhere too. And that makes sense, because this company is run by genuine, extremely passionate whisky geeks.
According to Benedict and Claudio, founders and owners of Spheric Spirits, they bought this 34-year-old whisky from Ben Nevis Distillery. There it had matured in its cold, damp warehouses. Evidently, this is old blending stock that even contains some malt whisky from Ben Nevis. They suggest it might have originally been intended for The Dew of Ben Nevis, a blended whisky of some renown that has been around for decades.
All we now for certain is that this Blended Malt Scotch Whisky has matured in a refill hogshead. And its age of course, which is not insignificant.
Nose: Soft, stewed fruits at first, but this needs a little time and warming up. Somewhat shy, shall we say. But once it does open up there’s some beeswax; almost buttery. Then notes of mango, papaya and grape fruit, but also some gentle dustier whiffs with a slight vegetal edge. Taste: The tropical elements make an encore here, but are accompanied by soft tannins and gentle oak spices such as cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. There’s some golden syrup, milk chocolate and cinnamon too. Finish: A soft grassiness, accompanied by drying tannic notes, and gentle citrus.
I feel the Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 1988 34 Years from Spheric Spirits sits right on the edge; and maybe even slightly falls over it. A tad dry on the palate. And maybe not as expressively fruity as I'd like. Mind you, I still love it. It's a gorgeous spirit, but was maybe even better a few years ago. Available from Spheric Spirits' website and Whiskybase.