Dram 1 from The Dram Team’s Incredible Indies box. This is a Grain, Girvan, I believe. Bottled at 50% ABV. This has been aged in a rum cask. Nose: Vanilla, Raisins, Stewed rhubarb. Pepper spice with some brown sugar sweetness. Palate: A lot smoother than the nose suggests. Still peppery though. Sweet with honey. Tart fruits on the edges of the tongue. Oaky lingerings with rum and raisin fudge.
They had a 50ml bottle of this in Asda so I thought I’d best try it. A combination of first-fill, rejuvenated and refill bourbon barrel-matured whiskies are used. Bottled at 40% ABV. Nose: Really nothing much there at first nose. But then baked apples with plenty of dried fruits and sugar all smothered in vanilla custard. Some grassy/floral notes push through. Butterscotch Angel Delight in there as well. Palate: Very smooth initially with plenty of that apple acidity coming though….
This was distilled in 1984, the last time that maize was included in the mix of grains. A real treat to get to try it. £366 a bottle Nose: Heavy oak hit, sweet, honey, pepper, spent fireworks, marzipan creeps in as it rests. Rosehips. Palate: Very smooth indeed to start, rising to a spicy crescendo. Autumn leaves, dewy grass, cinnamon buns. Really oaky dry finish.
£245 a bottle Nose: Marzipan straight away. Joined very quickly by Rum & Raisin and milk chocolate. Reminds me of those marzipan logs you get around Christmas time. Vibrant and youthful despite the age. Palate: Spicey, very smooth, strong rum & raisin. Aniseed balls on the finish followed by a hit of homemade blackcurrant jam.
NAS whisky named after the still of the same name built in 1992. £45 a bottle Nose: Apples, vanilla, light toffee, still very light nail polish hint which I like. Orange peel starts to come through as it breathes, developing into Chocolate Orange as it stands longer. Woodshavings. Palate: Sweet, creamy, really spicy, vanilla, quite oily. More spice and the orange come through on the finish. A really tasty dram at an affordable price. One for the Christmas list!
On 30th September I took part in a twitter tasting of Girvan Grain wares. The Girvan distillery was built in 1963. It was the most advanced distillery in the world at the time. It continues to produce some excellent expressions. New Make (at bottle strength) Nose: Banana, nail varnish, Tutti Frutti sweets, Swizzels Mattlow Drumsticks Palate: Light and fresh, creamy. Slightly empty suggesting bags of room for development over time. Light spice at the back of the mouth.