Following on from the Bon Accord, amusingly, the Pot Still menu was being updated and the online menu was offline. What gives Glasgow? Back then to choosing by sight, we followed up our ‘artist’s flight’ [Blog] with a random trio including two older blends.
The label is awash with all the BS marketing phrases like ‘Old Scotch Whisky’ [there are aged versions, this isn’t one], ‘Very Old Reserve’ and ‘Age with Honour’! Let’s see.
- C: Underwhelming low-fi, icing sugar blend. Disappointing given its modest reputation amongst lamenting fans.
Scores 78 points
- N: Well aged [21yo+] woody blend, the nose fairly unaffected by the abv minimum.
- T: On the palate however it’s somewhat flat, very woody & somewhat hollow, but somehow still manages to muster a desirable array of old skool things.
- F: Dusty woody fruit juice with a touch of shoe polish.
- C: This could well be a tired old bar bottle. Despite the frailness there’s decent malt in here, in a blend that contains a modest treasure trove.
Scores 84 points
Whilst Nick & I had been distracted by the dusty blends, Chris had been enjoying a Cadenhead’s single cask Arran with 20 years on the clock. Good man.
Arran 1996/2017 20yo Cadenhead Sherry butt [438 bts] 53.3% WB86.5
- C: A sugary funky-fruity-waxy-candy number that could just as easily pass for a Mortlach, or even more so a Glenrothes given the desirable & likeable sulphury-sherried assortment. All sorts on the finish. A fun one.
Scores 85 points
To finish, I secretly rounded up an Inverhouse trio.
An Cnoc Rascan  Ob. 46% WB84.52
- N: We are talking of fresh & assertive sweet smoky limestone and candy sugar. 11.5ppm is plenty in this context.
- T: Delivers well.
- F: A sweet/gentle/easy vegetal smoky number with pleasing balance.
- C: A decent NAS malt thought there’s no denying it’s juvenile nature.
Scores 84 points
Balblair 2005/2018 Ob. 1st release 46% WB85
Although I recently got the low-down with regard to Inverhouse’s Balblair ‘release’ policy [Blog], I can’t quite lay the ambiguousness to rest. This is Balblair’s third 2005 1st release!
- N: Young/youthful raisiny light malty spirit.
- T: A gently hitting [jabbing], creamy malty arrival.
- F: Follows suit with emerging beeswax and a slightly butyric note at the death.
- C: Balblair’s consistency & quality continues year on year.
Scores 84 points
- C: Sadly discontinued since 2017, this cocky coastal number requires some respect. It’s less salty than I’ve remembered it in the past with a wavering/temporal malty leathery balance.
Scores 87 points
As we leave the bar, something catches our eye outside. It’s a blackboard advertising a single cask Speyside Distillery 22yo, bottled by Morrison & Mackay for the Pot Still. Not sure why I noted ‘thanks to the Catholics’ [3 drams in], but we were intrigued enough to head back in for a sample dram.
Speyside Distillery 22yo  M&M for The Pot Still single sherry puncheon #942 [127 bts] [WB]87.50
- N: The cask speaks first and thankfully it’s a good one. An uninhibited nose brings oaky dried coconut, soft crystallised sugars with curried spices and sweaty woody chocolate/cocoa slices. With an illusion of more Mizunara character than Glendalough’s 13yo [WB], I also got church wood, walnut wood, almonds and hazelnuts. A memorable nose given the circumstances – Whiskyshare on tour!
- T: A sherry puncheon is credited [maybe only a finishing cask], but it seems there is a bourbon cask underlying. The force is strong with this one, an energy that compliments our mood. The heat hits immediately with resinous raisin sugars, a scented floral sweetness and peppery aniseed spice.
- F: Follows through fine in the end, mainly with notes of pine [wood stain].
- C: “The bad bits are the good bits” says the Foz and I concur. Taking a punt at £85, I’ll confirm or deny whether the occasion/time & place elevated this one in due course. I have a feeling it might have.
Provisionally scores 87 points
The true cost of going back for that extra dram meant missing out on a sit-down meal. On our hazy-hungry walk round the city centre we pass a vape shop called Inhale the Freedom. Food-wise, things are desperate late on a Monday night. In a fish n chip shop next door to Grand Central Station, you order your fish by the slice. Everything comes with chips as standard.
Tomorrow we visit two distilleries in Glasgow before heading up to Inveraray.