Breath of the Highlands 1972 35 Years Old (Adelphi)
The Highlands is a big Scotch whisky region, so this Breath of the Highlands 1972 from Adelphi could conceivably come from several dozen different distilleries. In the end, it doesn’t really matter all that much where it is distilled, as long as the whisky is good. However, there are several trusted online sources that mention Royal Lochnagar in relation to this bottling.
And I just happen to have an immense weak spot for Lochnagar, so it is nice to know that is probably where this was distilled. Lochnagar is owned by Diageo, and very useful to them as a location to train staff, but they don’t do much with the brand, to be honest. That’s a shame, because Lochnagar is a beautiful traditional distillery, with no computer in sight. In the right hands, I truly believe Lochnagar could be up there with a cult distillery like Springbank.
For now, we’ll have to make do with the odd independent bottling, such as this ex-bourbon cask Breath of the Highlands.
Breath of the Highlands 1972 35 Years Old (51.7%, Adelphi, C#1753)
Nose: Fresh varnish and oak shavings show off the age of this whisky, but there’s plenty more on offer here. I love the baked apples and stewed pears, as well as the subtle touch of honey. There’s a whisper of galia melon too. Finally, it is somewhat waxy, and has a hint of coconut oil as well.
Taste: Lively and fruity, think grapefruit and peaches, with beeswax and honey to back it up—and to sweeten it a bit. Some sawdust in the background, as well as a whisper of coconut.
Finish: Slightly spicy to begin with (nutmeg, white pepper), but lingering sweetness and waxiness.
I could just drink this all day long. Who the f— cares what distillery this is from, as long as the result is this delicious.
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.