Thursday, March 15, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #54

St. Magdalene 1979, 19yo
Rare Malts Series
Lowland Single Malt Scotch

63.8% abv
£85*


This is a whisky praised by many, but never widely used when it was in production either as a single or for blending. St. Magdalene produced a double-distilled spirit, uncommmon for a lowlander, but standard in terms of most Scottish pot still whisky.


The site where this distillery was built accomodated a leper colony in the 12th century and later housed a covent, from which the name St. Magdalene's was borrowed. The distillery is also known as Linlithgow, and this whisky represents the last of the seven lost distilleries of the town of the same name. The buildings have been converted into flats and only the distinctive pagoda roof that remains offers a clue to future generations of the function the building once had. The distillery was closed in 1983.


*- hard-to-find bottling so the price given is based on an old list price. It would certainly fetch more today (£200ish)

TASTING NOTES:


Light, but full of aromas: sugar, newspaper, molasses, Supermalt, carob, pecans, ginger. Rooty and perfumy. Very appetising

Tight, but quite complex: Oats sweetened with dates and dried apricots, banana bread, tree sap, taste like the smell of lemon peels. Really holds together through the palate, not much development of flavour, maybe a whiff of smoke emerging? A real package from impact to finish.

SUMMARY:

Quite busy with flavours, but all wound up in a well-balanced ensemble that doesnt fuss about. Good, clean, well constructed whisky.

Malt Mission #51
Malt Mission #52
Malt Mission #53
Malt Mission #55

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2 comments:

redkiteyorks said...

1970/1993 23 year old 58.1 per cent, bottled J G Stewart, Edinburgh.
My very last bottle of St Magdalene opened and tasted today, 24 Mar 2008, in honour of my late whisky-drinking mother-in-law.
Water added to about 45 per cent. very noticeable acetone/pear drops, strong fruitiness with a slight peat hint. Warm and butterscotchy and a very powerful salt - perhaps acetone and salt the most important components. Not as complex as more middle aged bottles I have drunk.
A little more water added - but not much - and a sudden increase in cloudiness released very pronounced liqourice (licorice for those whisky fans over the pond)which dominated over the acetone - still salt, but much less pronounced. Finish dryish with a slightly bitter aftertaste but a pleasant chocolate nonetheless as the liquorice fades in the mouth. Very long presence in the mouth.
It was better with just a little less springwater - but then there is the rest of the bottle.
I know I'll never own another bottle so I'll savout this one especially.

redkiteyorks said...

1970/1993 23 year old 58.1 per cent, bottled J G Stewart, Edinburgh.
My very last bottle of St Magdalene opened and tasted today, 24 Mar 2008, in honour of my late whisky-drinking mother-in-law.
Water added to about 45 per cent. very noticeable acetone/pear drops, strong fruitiness with a slight peat hint. Warm and butterscotchy and a very powerful salt - perhaps acetone and salt the most important components. Not as complex as more middle aged bottles I have drunk.
A little more water added - but not much - and a sudden increase in cloudiness released very pronounced liqourice (licorice for those whisky fans over the pond)which dominated over the acetone - still salt, but much less pronounced. Finish dryish with a slightly bitter aftertaste but a pleasant chocolate nonetheless as the liquorice fades in the mouth. Very long presence in the mouth.
It was better with just a little less springwater - but then there is the rest of the bottle.
I know I'll never own another bottle so I'll savour this one especially.