Blair Athol, 26yo 1988 The Ultimate
(Refill sherry butt #6850, distilled 14/10/88, bottled 13/11/14)
Nose: A friend once bought me a jar of wild bilberry jam, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here. Sweet dark fruits: blackcurrants, Vimto, and apple and blackberry pie. There’s some cherry cola, sultanas and dried pineapple. It’s got some characteristics of a very rich red wine. Some earthiness, moss and tree bark too.
Taste: A very syrupy mouthfeel, and then all the fruits from the nose appear, with the addition of some citrus. There are some spices – cloves, cinnamon – and it sort of teeters on the edge of going a bit mulled wine. Perfect drinking strength at 46%.
Finish: Dark chocolate with a black cherry centre. Some caramel biscuit and a little orange too. It’s quite a light and clean finish considering how rich this whisky is. Lovely lingering blueberry syrup aftertaste.
This is just charming whisky. It’s the liquid equivalent of going berry picking in the autumn. It could easily be a bit sickly sweet with all the sugary fruitiness, but the lightness of the spirit keeps it balanced and refreshing. It’s not a typical sherry bomb by any means. Superbly enjoyable and highly recommended.