Last week Stefan van der Boog, the BOOGieman himself asked me if I would like to review the two new Single Grain Whiskies he just released under his own label. Of course, that’s flattering, and knowing these are from several years before I first drew breath, I didn’t have to doubt long.
A decade or so ago it wasn’t too uncommon to find grain whiskies of this age, and they were quite affordable as well. But as with Single Malt whisky, grain whisky too has become more expensive. However, when you realize you can buy a 50 year old whisky for € 400, when a similarly aged single malt would set you back a multitude of that, grain still is the affordable kind…
Anyway… with all covert complaining about whisky prices out of the way, there’s the actual whisky that I should be talking about…
There’s two in this review: A Cameronbridge from Leven in Fife, also called ‘East’ and a North of Scotland from Dumbarton near Glasgow, called ‘West’. Interestingly ‘North of Scotland’ is nowhere near the north of Scotland.
The Cameronbridge is a 46 year old whisky from 1974, while the North of Scotland is a 49 year old whisky from 1971. The latter is proving popular since it goes nicely with all people turning 50 this year, and you don’t often get the chance to buy something at this age, even if you have very deep pockets.
Let’s dive in!
Cameronbridge 46, 1974-2021, 40.1% – Boogieman Import
Warm oak and stewed forest fruit crumble. Strawberries and blackberries with vanilla custard. Dried, powdered ginger with a hint of sweet tea. Later on I get dried apple and peaches.
The palate continues with a certain oaky dryness. Lots of oak, with a vanilla sweetness behind it. Strawberry crumble again, with more wood spices. Ginger, nutmeg and a bit of clove. Slightly bitter on the tea note now, and less sweet than the nose was.
The finish livens up the fruity part of the palate. Much more peach and apple than before. Peach cobbler, with vanilla and black tea.
It’s interesting to find that the inherent sweetness with long aged grain whisky has been kept in check in this whisky. A slight bitter note (nothing much or off-putting by any means!) is making this a layered and complex dram, with a lovely and comforting fruitiness to boot. Great stuff!
North of Scotland 49, 1971-2021, 40.4% – Boogieman Import
The nose starts with hints of applie pie and oak. Not too much vanilla in this one, with more baked apple and brown sugar. A bit of moss and ferns too, so some forest like notes as well. A bit more vanilla turns up after a little while, with some black pepper and sawdust.
The palate is quite light with a lot of oak, apple, pepper and a note of sand. So ever so slightly coastal. Sawdust, green tree bark, black tea, peach stones and peach skin.
The finish stays on the dry side of things, but adds a bit more sweetness than there was on the palate. Applie pie, some foresty notes with ferns and moss. Less pepper but more vanilla.
At some point a few years more in oak don’t really influence the dryness or oak flavors in a whisky. I guess around 50 years old it turns out that that is the case. This one isn’t more cask forward than the other, which is a good thing.
The addition of the moss and fern notes in this one are rather interesting. The notes of tea that are present are very interesting again, and makes for an absolutely gorgeous whisky.
At the time of writing both whiskies are still available at Passie voor Whisky, but be quick. There are only fifty bottles in total of either bottling!
- Cameronbridge 46, 1974-2021, 40.1% – Boogieman Import (€ 379.95)
- North of Scotland 49, 1971-2021, 40.4% – Boogieman Import (€ 399.95)
Thanks to Boogieman Import for sending samples! Absolutely gorgeous stuff!