Blair Athol 2015-2020, Oloroso Hogshead 900093, 48% – Skene

Image from Whiskybase

Yet another incredibly young whisky from Skene. This time from Blair Athol distillery in Pitlochy. I visited the distillery about three and a half years ago. I only now realize that I never wrote a blogpost about it. I just might have to revisit at some point.

I do remember having an awesome time there, with a one-on-one tour. I was a bit apprehensive because right before me two touring cars from Edinburgh pulled into the parking lot. Luckily, they were there for the five quid tour and I wanted a bit more!

Anyway, a four or five year old whisky from an Oloroso cask. I know the distillery has quite a rich character in regards to their spirit. It is quite possible that a young whisky from a sherry cask gets a bit too rich then.

What I am also wondering is whether or not this will be as close to the new make of the disitllery as the Tomatin was. That might be interesting!

On the nose it starts with the slightly bitter version of dried fruits. Hints of apricots, plum stones, some wood spices from the oak. The spirit is rather noticeable and has quite a lot of sweetness, to which the sweetness of the cask is added. Some feinty notes too.

The palate has a slightly higher ABV (at the time of writing, I didn’t know the ABV), and shows a bit of bite. It is far more cask driven than the nose suggested, though. Lots of dried fruits and lots of wood spices. Apricots, almonds, jam and syrup.

The finish is slightly drier than the palate was, but just as sweet. Apricot jam, almonds, very similar.

Well, what to think of this one. I doubt this would have improved with more time in the cask, since I think the cask is already overly present. The spirit is nicely present on the nose but doesn’t really show itself on the palate, there it’s just oak and sherry, in my opinion.

All in all it is quite drinkable, but it’s more like an overly fortified sherry than a whisky from a sherry cask.


Available in the UK for £ 40. Thanks for the sample to Skene Whisky itself!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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