Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #42

Blair Athol 12yo
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
43% abv

Like many of Scotland's lesser known whiskies, Blair Athol has had a patchy history since its birth in 1798. It's the 7th oldest distillery still in production and the only non-premium expression available is still a part of the Flora & Fauna range(vanishing steadily). When it was first built, the distillery was named after the one of the rivers that runs through Pitlochry, Allt Dour, and fell silent only a few years later.

The stills came back to life in 1826 an renamed Blair Athol.
"The village of Blair Atholl ends with a double 'l', while the distillery prefers to keep it single"-Michael Jackson

Arthur Bell&Sons had a good sense for investment and in the recession of the 1930's, at an obviously deflated price, purchased both of Peter Mackenzie's distilleries, Dufftown and Blair Athol.The distillery closed, as it had 100 years earlier, until 1949 when Bell's became a public company.

Blair Athol is one of the very few (4?) Scottish Whisky distilleries whose water source is hard, flowing from Ben Vrackie.


Warming sherry, oak and some peppery vanilla... uuups, and a prickle when I try to dig. Just leave it a sec to breathe. Sherry still. Maybe balsamic vinegar and blackberries. Big waves of sherry and something like tigertail ice cream(creamsicle orange and licorice)

Big announcement, "SHERRY!" with a watery mouthfeel and a big explosion of golden syrup-soaked oak, oak being in the foreground. With that sherry announced. Root beer. Wood wood wood. Sherry(did i mention that?) Wood. Good bye

I know that if nothing else, this dram gave me a new go-to dreccomendation for friends asking for something sherried.
This sample was a gift from Kristin a couple of years ago for one of the days of hanukkah(or only slightly more hilarious, this) and the only other time I have had it was visiting the distillery in 2003. According to MJ, Blair Athol is a whisky that, without being huge in body, stands up well to sherry casks. I say this malt gets noticed with determination, boldly asserting, "I am sherry!" But any impression of what Blair Athol's spirit actually tastes like, is lost. Save it for Bell's. I don't care right now.

* not carried by LCBO or Manitoba Liquor Marts, USA? Help requested

Malt Mission #41
Malt Mission #43
Malt Mission #44
Malt Mission #45

Malt Mission HOME

No comments: