While out Christmas shopping in December last year, I got sidetracked and rather than splashing my cash on my nearest and dearest, I ended up buying several bottle of whisky for myself. Surprised? Me neither.
I spotted a 200ml sample of this 11 year old Blair Athol distilled in 2002 and whisked it into the shopping basket immediately. After all, it's part of the McGibbon's Provenance range, is from a single cask, is bottled at 46%, is non-chill filtered and bottled without additional colouring. top notch.
The screw cap is a bit wonky so I decided I'd have to drink it quickly in case the angels decided they'd take their share early.
Nose: Sweet, fruity toffee, vanilla and barley sugars. Chocolate covered foam banana sweets, some gentle spices, traditional cloudy lemonade and fresh spinach. There's a gentle smoky note in the background along with a splash of rose water. With water: Lighter with marzipan and the cask starts to come through. More lemon.
Palate: A slightly sour arrival which gives way to sherbet lemons, light, milky toffee - perhaps a Caramac bar? Toffee bonbons and tangerine rind. With water: Much fruiter, with added vanilla and less of the sourness.
Finish: That fruity toffee note returns and the smoke is definitely here. Again, slightly sour but not unpleasant. Quite malty with some tingly cinnamon spice. Dry. With water: Spicier with a touch of red liquorice laces.