If you are looking to get some old, official single malt whiskies, Knockando is one of the cheapest options out there. They did lots of vintage ‘dated’ 12 year old releases during the eighties, which dates the distillation date in the seventies, and they generally go for around € 150-ish.
I picked up this one a while ago at De Whiskykoning, where it sat on a bottom shelf, hidden in a corner between much more impressive, and much more impressively priced, bottled. The ugly duckling, so to say.
I decided to go for it after some deliberation. Generally, these Knockandos are nothing to write home about. But I figured it would be interesting enough for a bottle share so I’d not bear the full cost myself. In the end, not many people joined in the share and I ended up with quite a significant part of the whisky myself. Let’s hope it’s not too bad, then!
Vanilla and oak, with straw and warm apple pie. Oak, and strangely, that scent of straw wrappings that come with old bottles, old apples.
Dry on the palate, brittle straw dust, dry pulpy oak. Cloudy apple juice, some puff pastry, quite sweet. A surprising bite, for a 43% whisky, actually.
A rather long finish, with the same dry bite as before. Old sawdust, the dustiness of an attic, or a granary.
This one is more interesting than it is good. As in, I like to be able to try stuff like this, but I don’t expect the bottle to be empty quickly. I think with stuff like this the decline of the whisky industry in the seventies is noticeable. Of course, that decline came to a lot of closings in the early eighties, but it set in earlier, of course.
It feels a bit like this stuff was truly made for the blends of Justerini & Brooks (J&B). It tastes like they didn’t really want to make something very good, just good enough. And at the original price it probably was, but at € 150, it’s not.