A rare and unusual old whisky, subtle in style yet possessing considerable hidden depths, that shows fantastic balance and poise as fruit rolls into spice, then into sweet herbal notes and back again, its characterful spirit clearly aided by excellent cask influence. Makes a luxurious apéritif.
A limited edition, natural cask strength Single Malt Whisky from the closed Convalmore Distillery at Dufftown, Speyside.
A fourth release of Convalmore in this series from the original distiller’s stocks. Interesting to contrast with the 36yo from European Oak released in 2013. From refill American Oak hogsheads filled in 1984.
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18CT gold. Good legs and very viscous.
A mellow base aroma, soft and sweet, like a buttery pastry case, lightly dusted with nutmeg ready for a custard filling, or perhaps almond oil and oak shavings. Above this, there’s a fruity filling of gently sour apples, spiced pears and ripe melon, orange peel too, before an intense brown sugar sweetness builds. The spicy notes continue to develop, with clove and cinnamon-laced biscuits balanced by candied lemon, more sharp apple and an underlying green herbiness. A drop of water introduces a waxy note and suppresses the fruity elements.
Light to medium. Smooth textured.
Smooth, sweet and fruity, with a trace of crisp acidity and oak spice to balance the sweetness before it can cloy. The apples and pastry on the nose persist, now caramelized and bitter-sweet, as part of the fruity centre palate. With a splash of water the taste becomes lightly sweeter, while light acidity again steps in to reveal more complexity. The fruit is savoury; light floral notes appear; the oak picks up char; the spice is toasted and fragrant.
Warming, spicy and lingering, with liquorice that fades to stewed, baked and fresh-sliced apples and warming oak that persists in closing, bitter-sweet flavours.