Convalmore 1978 24 Years Old (Rare Malts Selection)
I’m on quite a review streak of incredibly rare and delicious whiskies, and I intend to keep it going for a while. Next up is another closed distillery one from the Rare Malts Selection, this time a Convalmore 1978 that has matured for 24 years.
Convalmore is one of the famous seven stills of Dufftown, the self-proclaimed whisky capital of the world. The distillery never really got a chance to shine, as it was mainly producing whisky for blends. Only after it was mothballed in 1985 did its owners release official bottlings (just four in total), including the one I review below.
Convalmore 1978 24 Years Old (59,4%, OB ‘Rare Malts Selection’)
Nose: Lots of citrus notes at first nosing. Tangerine, lemon, sour oranges. But don’t mistake this for a very fruity whisky. It has an interesting whiff of gasoline, as well as a fair amount of candle wax with some coconut shavings and yoghurt.
Taste: Lovely creamy mouthfeel, and surprisingly gentle for its high abv. Although don’t think of this as a ‘soft’ whisky, it is quite bold still. A hit of black pepper immediately after swallowing. Beeswax and wildflower honey, accompanied by lemons. A subtle hint of smoke, menthol and tobacco leaves.
Finish: Lingering on apples and pears, with a trace of menthol. Long.
Now this is something else. Waxy and fruity, but also that interesting whiff of gasoline, as well as a the spices and smoke on the palate. All of that nicely balanced. Can’t ask for much more.
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.