Yesterday I scored 0 points. It might that the downward spiral has begun, since today I have no clue to what this can be either. Since I barely ever have tasted Littlemill, especially none that were those recent single casks.
I did sniff this dram ahead as well just to exclude some region or type, but that didn’t really help.
At first I got a massive hit of red wine, like a Cabernet or a claret or so. Something quite sweet. Some red fruits too and dates. The nuttiness of tawny port is present too. Madeira maybe? It’s all over the place. I think I’m getting European oak in the background, with cappuccino and cinnamon candy sticks.
The palate is very gentle, but wine and port casks have been known to do that. A slight woody build up follows and it’s very sweet, like the water/port/cinnamon mixture you stew pears in. Tawny port again, cinnamon. After about half a minute there’s a sudden burst of spices like black pepper.
The finish gives me more port like tones and oak. At this point I’m convinced it’s not a sherry cask. A long finish with red fruits, walnut and date. Some cinnamon and stewed pears.
This whisky is all over the place. I find the notes to be consistent between nose, palate and finish, but I don’t want to drink something that’s this much like stewed pears and cinnamon. I just can’t wrap my head around the sweetness and non-whisky-like flavors. It’s not a really bad whisky either, but it’s just not for me.
Since it was a port cask, in my opinion, and one that had a certain edge to is I was going for a slightly increased ABV, as well as a Speysider because of the smoothness of all parts of the experience.
Boy was I wrong. It turned out to be a 1988 Blair Athol by The Ultimate, bottled from a refill Sherry butt and at 46%. 0 points again. I really have to pick things up, this bottle not being among them.
Not my cup of tea, but I bet there are lots of people who do like it. And since it’s an Ultimate bottling, it’s cheap. € 85 for a 25 year old sherry, single cask is peanuts nowadays.
Blair Athol 1988, 25yo, 46%, The Ultimate. Sold out by now.