Convalmore 1981 26 Years Old (Cadenhead’s)
Up until recently, I often vacationed in San Remo for a few weeks during the summer. We had a great little apartment up in the hills, very private, with a swimming pool, and overlooking the city and the Mediterranean. It was the perfect combination of Italian city life and quiet relaxedness. Sadly the people we rented it from have sold the place, so now we’re on the lookout for a new spot in Italy. Recommendations are appreciated.
Why do I tell you this? It pays to visit enoteca’s in Italy, or other small shops selling wine and spirits. I found a bottle of the whisky I’m reviewing today in exactly such a shop in the centre of San Remo. Imagine my surprise when I pulled a dusty tube from out under other bottles of whisky, only to discover it was a forgotten bottle of Convalmore! And for just over a hundred euro to boot.
A few weeks ago I opened the bottle for an insane BYOB event at the Whiskybase Gathering (which you can read all about over here). Many people enjoyed a dram (or I hope they did), and now it is time to for me to review it.
Convalmore 1981 26 Years Old (46%, Cadenhead’s)
Nose: Somewhat malty and quite fruity, with notes of triple sec and mandarin peel. Surprisingly fresh, even after quite a few years of bottle ageing. The fruits are beautiful, with a good amount of tinned pineapple leading the way, accompanied by nectarine marmalade, and whiffs of beeswax. Pretty delicious.
Taste: Oily with a lovely subtle waxiness. Quite a classic profile, something you won’t often encounter in modern whiskies. A light sweetness, accompanied by a slight oak-y bitterness and soft ginger notes and cloves, but also sweet mango and a hint of brown sugar.
Finish: Lingering bitterness at first. Finally some green veggies.
Liquid history, that’s what they call this, right? Lovely stuff, with a bit of melancholy thrown in. Not too shabby.
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.