That Boutique-y Advent Calendar Days 5 – 8 | That Boutiquey Whisky Company
Have you ever had a Boutique-y Whisky Advent Calendar before? If not, why not? This is my second year… ((or third year (the first one I bought was the Glenfarclas one)) Can’t you just imagine the excitement of carefully opening the little door to reveal the latest little dram!! I can… this has also had me thinking about what it is about Boutique-y Whisky that I love… I’ll tell you about that another time.
Anyhoo.. this is a review of days 5 to 8.
Day 5 – Blair Athol – 21 year old – Batch 5 – 51.5% vol.
This hails from a distillery nestled in the Highlands, in Pitlochry not far from the River Tummel (then Loch Tummel.)
Originally called Aldour after the alt dour (or burn (river) of the otter) in 1798, this was then revived in 1826 as Blair Athol. After briefly closing in 1932 it was saved from closure by Arthur Bell and Sons. 1949 saw the distillery being reopened after being rebuilt, and it has been in production ever since.
Outdoorsy grassy aroma initially, quickly turning floral and fresh and a fruity character. A little apple… There’s a light sort of caramel note, with vanilla and the feintest hint of Trebor mint. Almost a cake note too.
Fruity and a little spicy on the palate. That cake that I got on the nose is coming through too…. There’s a touch of honey and it has an ever so slightly woody note. And as we all know… I love a bit of wood on the palate. A nice strength to this too.
Day 6 – Auchroisk – 12 year old – Batch 7 – 47.9% vol.
1972 was the year Auchroisk distillery was built in Mulben, this is not far from Keith (Banffshire) and official production commenced in 1974.
The label is adorned with Zombies, there’s no real reason, but it has me humming ‘Kernkraft 400’ by Zombie Nation…
This has a very sweet nose, a slightly pastry-ish, light floral hint and citrus. The palate delivered sort of a bitter sweetness… a little vanilla and honey with ginger, there’s a slight lemony bitterness there. That pastry is still there.
The finish is pepperiness that lasts, with a touch of vanilla.
Day 7 – Royal Brackla – 12 year old – Batch 1 – 47.9% vol.
A first bottling of the Royal Brackla from Boutique-y Whisky. The label depicts well I will let them tell you… “If you haven’t had the chance to meet King William IV or the steelworks’ owner in person then you can get an idea of how this distillery bagged themselves a Royal Warrant. The steelworks’ owner is gesticulating towards the pouring metal and saying boldly to the king: “New formulation. Good for a number of very specific applications. The Brachyuran overlords are delighted.”
A rather delicious hint of cinnamon, vanilla and apples a little red fruit too. Caramel.. and it’s fresh. A twist of lemon, but it’s not in your face, it is subtle. A sort of pastry scent coming through after letting it sit.
Palate delivered a slightly acetone type hit on the first sip. Caramel sweetness..Again it’s fruity, a bit like the tin of fruit you’d stick in a 70s trifle. Lemon bitterness…
The finish is long and warming.
Day 8 – Blended Malt #1 – 18 year old – Batch 3 – 47.3% vol.
Oh halo… or all hail the teaspoon. So what the chuffing hell has that got to do with whisky? Well… this is because the whisky is predominantly made with whisky from one distillery, and a teeny bit from another distillery… ooh ah just a little bit, and this then means it can’t be labelled with the distillery name from which it came or be classed as a single malt. But if it’s as lovely as this… you don’t mind, not one bit !!
This little gem of which I also have a big gem is from one of my favourite distilleries…one of which may or may not have a smiley face drawn in some dust on a pipe, by me, last year on a tour.
The nose is light and floral, sweet pear drizzled with honey. Almost getting a pencil scent… some lovely woody notes too. Oh the palate, this has honey again and a little chocolate… lovely spice too. It’s almost peppery on the palate.
The finish leaves you with lovely honey sweetness lingering…. and a kiss of peppery warmth.