Friday, October 24, 2014

Bladnoch 1992, 21 Year Old, Cadenhead Small Batch 54.9%

A Lowland malt this time, a region that I recently realised was embarrassingly lacking on my shelves.

I'm not entirely sure what the story is with Bladnoch at the moment - is it definitely closed, or will someone snap it up and revive production? It certainly seemed to be a startling - and frankly almost bizarre - outlier that a distillery would actually be closing amidst all the backslapping optimism of the current whisky boom, so conditioned have we become to the nearly weekly tidings of a new distillery opening or an existing one expanding.

Bladnoch 1992, 21 Year Old, Cadenhead Small Batch 54.9%

Nose: Citrus at first, along with some apples, followed by a light, nutty maltiness. Water releases some sweetness, followed by some increasingly lifted floral notes.

Palate: Piercing, narrow, grapefruit at first. A little water knocks back some of the intensity and booze. That's more like it. Papaya followed by chocolate and then a whole lotta floral and herbal notes - thyme and lavender. Herbs de Provence maybe?
It becomes oppressively chocolatey for a while actually, but after more time, and a wee bit more water, the fruit reveals itself again, with that extra dilution also serving to make the texture nice and creamy.

Finish: Neat, the finish is all citrus and booze. Let's go straight to the water. Now, the chocolate continues into the long, creamy finish, joined by some salt and spice, becoming slightly drier and drying as it fades.

A wonderfully complex Lowlander, full of character, that bursts from the glass and continues to evolve and interest as it progresses. Water is essential, to my taste.

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