A 38-year-old whisky that costs around 180 euro, and it is still available some six months after release? That’s not a great sign. Maybe potential buyers are hesitant because of the abv. After almost four decades of ageing the Cooper’s Choice Family Silver 1984 has come down to just 40.5% abv.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue. There are plenty examples of older whiskies that were bottled just before they dipped below the legal threshold. And many of them are very, very good. This Blended Scotch from Cooper’s Choice exists of fifteen single malts and three single grains, including Balblair, Blair Athol, Glen Garioch, Linkwood, Mortlach and Cambus. So there’s certainly promise here.
Oh, and it looks like this was blended at birth. The label says, “Lovingly matured for over Thirthy Eight glorious years in a first fill Oloroso sherry cask.”
Cooper’s Choice Family Silver 1984 38 Years (40.5%, C#VMW51, 2022)
Nose: It opens up on hints of leather, eucalyptus, walnuts and sage, maybe even some licorice. Almost like it is slightly perfumed, but there’s some plums and pineapple too. Also a touch of soot, smoke and minerals. Taste: The mouthfeel is rather thin, but there’s certainly more smoke, soot, minerals and hay here as well. Quite floral, somewhat fruity. The eucalyptus makes an encore, while tropical fruits are hiding in the background. And there’s some rosemary too. Finish: Gentle herbs, soft smoke and floral peat.
Not at all what I expected, the Cooper's Choice Family Silver 1984 38 Years is quite unusual. On the label there's no mention of any distilleries that produce peated whisky, although I suppose Glen Garioch used peat back in the day. But I suspect the mature peatiness comes from another source. It really is reminiscent of Bowmore (the good and the bad), but the palate is a little too weak to warrant a higher score.