Rarity, scarcity and unfamiliarity.

It’s a tenuous link, but is one bovered? Here are three malts i tried recently that are associated by rarity, scarcity and unfamiliarity. I’ve only previously had two St Magdalene, only two single cask expressions of Macallan and only one Allt-a-Bhainne. Let’s change all that.

Allt-a-Bhainne 1995/2013 17yo SV cask #147084 & 147085 [btl #241/729] 43% WB84[5]


  • N: Mackmyra [Bruks] like with pear drops and pineapples. Very like [light] new-make in aroma but the wood (maybe on it’s last fill) has done its part merely to soften without imparting. That makes it creamy barley spirit.
  • T: Hearty, creamy, sweet-sour, straight ahead spirit finish.
  • F: Spirity yet flavoursome. Never harsh, more rough and ready, a tad.
  • C: Totally distillate led. It’s ok, really but oh for better casks – the distillate deserves them.

Scores 79 points


Macallan 1990 23yo 24.126 SMWS [191 bts] 56.1% WB89.79[4] OMoH5/10


  • N: Oily, buttery, briney, rubber sherry
  • T: Lots of boing, the phenol and more the ethanol strength are formidable.
  • F: More boing!
  • C: Not much SMWS Macallan around anymore, and this was only one of 191 bottles.

Scores 82 points


(St Magdalene) Linlithgow 1982/2008 25yo SMoS cask #8902 [245 bts] 46% WB84.80[12] WF84


  • N: Fatty, oily, firm yet fluffy malt distillate with water melon and goats cheese
  • T: Squidgy & grassy mouthfeel, a little oily and oozing of barley water with a light fruitiness. Has a soft richness, with a peak of [joyous] intensity going into the finish
  • F: Simply lovely as it finishes with more barley, a tad austere but altogether desirable.
  • C: A treat, not least in context of its rarity.

Scores 85 points

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