It’s Strathclyde #2, similar age and again from Douglas Laing
N: On first pour it’s, ‘boing’! Let it settle and that ‘to-die-for’ butterscotch is alive and kicking. You’ve got the ultimate cake stand here, the kind of cakes & treats that drip with treacle, toffee, icing etc,… with toasted dill seeds sprinkled on top.
T: Tastes like Madeira sherry, and a month on that’s not changed, – but crucially the grain retains a commanding voice despite that vibrant cask.
F: You wouldn’t necessarily know it’s a grain whisky until the end. Bitter butterscotch grain finish, oaky, treacle-butter-cornflake cakes, coffee-toffee-chocolate mocha and flambé bananas – Indian deep fried styley, ooh and dry roasted peanuts!! Also, burnt heather, dry straw [barley], a touch of liquorice, charcoal and more toasted dill seeds at the death. Two months later and oh my, how many raisins?!,… and dates and dried figs at the death. A similar finish to the Ledaig 1973 WB with that un-fakeable age provenance – yet here it is in a young grain, astounding!
C: An exceptionally young and deceptive grain with the aspirations of a complex, maturing, single malt. Since opening this, I’ve had a NoS ’71 WB, NoS ’63 WB and an Invergordon ’64 WB, all cracking grains in their own way – and yet this one surpasses them all. Five months later and this still never fails or falters. It’s a giver, it’s a hard hitter, it’s fabulous stuff.
N: Honestly, a grain? – no chance, i’m going to sneak this into a single malt tasting one day. Nosing, it’s nutty with marzipan – so almonds but there’s macadamias too. Pancakes also but with what?,… maple syrup, chopped nuts, [pine nuts to be precise], and a Chinese blend of soy sauce, peanut & sake with its own complexity. Time to mention the butterscotch and golly – more oriental spices than I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in their own right. Fabulous nose.
T: Well, sweet in the main and definitely oriental with sugared mussels – but it’s the sugars that stand out, the fish is only a suggestion. It’s the sugars that hit the palate and yet it’s the sweet>bitter that bites so desirably. It’s like undiluted/concentrated/unadulterated Chinese/Japanese takeaway sauce concentrate, packaged in a drinkable sweet, butterscotch nectar – now there’s a thing!
F: Huge resonance, you know you’ve experienced something truly wonderful.
C: A wondrous whisky and in context of other superb [and old] grains too. Let’s finish this match with an old Strathclyde.
Scores 90 points