Thursday, March 08, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #49

Inchgower 24yo
Single Cask Single Malt Whisky
SMWS 18.24
54.7% abv

Say this distillery's name and most folks will figure you are talking about a garden worm or a measuring tool. Yes, Inchgower is not a widely known distillery, but it is very likely that if you are reading this then you have tasted it before as a part of Johnnie Walker or Bell's blends.

Although it is technically a speyside whisky, Inchgower, according to MJ, "tastes more like a coastal malt." This is likely because it is located near Buckie, on the north coast of the central highlands. But it is the distillery's proximity to the river spey rather than its water source (springs in the Menduff hills) that determines its region.

All official single malt releases from Inchgower (Flora&Fauna, Rare Malts) are matured on site, the rest of the casks are matured elsewhere. SMWS's one line description on the bottle is, "Emphatically fig-like"


Cinnamon bun sweetness, full of raisins, dried apricots and figs. Wet wood chips. Has great toastiness that adds a meatiness to the otherwise very tart, light malt.

Chocolate and nuts and raisins... Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut. Drying as it leaves the sweetness and becomes quite oaky and kitchen-like; cut up root vegetables, oil heating up in a pan. Soy sauce. Finish is a balance of both sweet and savoury elements, with some salt(seaweed) coming through.


When Kristin's father was here he asked for a nightcap and I offered him this. 10 minutes and several sighs of satisfaction later, he said he figured it was the nicest whisky he ever had. Such praises need not be true for everyone, but they do attest to the quality of this whisky. I wonder if liquids I produced 27 years ago would taste this good today... Highly drinkable at cask strength (but not hurt by the addition of water), this whisky has unique characteristics and deserves more attention as a single.

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