North British 2000/2015 (Malts of Scotland)
A big, big grain distillery. That’s what North British is, with their annual output of 73 million liters of pure alcohol. Only a tiny bit of it reaches the consumer in its purest form: a single cask single grain. Like this North British 2000/2015 from Malts of Scotland, matured in a sherry butt.
Most of its production is destined for an array of blends, like Cutty Sark, Famous Grouse, Chival Regal and J&B. The grain used at North British is mainly maize, but according to Scotchwhisky.com a minimum of 15 percent malted barley is also used.
North British 2000/2015 (57,8%, Malts of Scotland, C#15066)
Nose: Plenty of glue at first, but after 45 minutes of waiting this baby is ready to be devoured. Still a light layer of glue/nail polish remover, but no longer overpowering. The sherry influence is very obvious, with a concentrated cherry aroma, as well as sultanas. Slightly herbal too, mostly thyme. A hint of struck matches in the background.
Taste: More cherry, some toffee, rum raisins and even a hint of cappuccino, but also very dark caramel, on the edge of being burnt. Some dark chocolate, as well as a pinch of pepper, and some cloves. An annoying sour note somewhere in the back. Slightly dry and dangerously drinkable, even at almost 60 percent.
Finish: Medium in length with caramel, cranberries and cherries.
Pretty good, but lacks a bit of balance to warrant a higher score.
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.