Blind Tasting Competition #9: Blair Athol 1988 Van Wees
It smells like sample #9 of the Blind Tasting Competition might be an interesting whisky, in the sense that I think this is whisky that was bottled a while ago. We might have some Old Bottle Effect.
Blair Athol 1988/2014 (46%, Van Wees, C#6918)
Nose: Some sulphur, but not too overwhelming, but doesn’t really add anything. A hint of citrus and plenty of oak. Coffee powder and dark spices. It’s also a dusty whisky with a soy aroma.
Taste: Pepper, dark chocolate. Spicy with nutmeg and cloves. Oak again, a bit dry. Adding water makes it even drier and also more spicy.
Finish: A bit short. Dry, spicy, a hint of smoke and some ash.
The dusty quality of this whisky and the soy make me think this is an older bottling. My most memorable encounter with OBE is this Macallan 10yo bottled in 1985. But I don’t think this is a Macallan. My gut says Mortlach (something reminds me of this Mortlach 21yo), so that’s what I’m going for. A 12yo bottled at 43 percent.
Blegh, turns out I was way off. No Old Bottle Effect, because this Blair Athol was bottled just at the start of 2014. Zero points for me today, and I’m no longer first in the competition.
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.