Inchgower 14 Year Old (Flora and Fauna).
43% ABV, £40 for 70cl.
What they say:
The Oystercatcher is a common sight around the Inchgower distillery, which stands close to the sea on the mouth of the river Spey, near Buckie. Inchgower established in 1824, produces one of the most distinctive Single Malt whiskies in Speyside. It is a malt for the discerning drinker ~ a complex aroma preceds a fruity spicy taste with a hint of salt.
What I say:
Bought this from Glenkinchie distillery as they had run out of Dailuaine & Mortlach one of the times I had visited. The main reason I opted for the Inchgower was the Oystercatcher on the label. Whilst Livingston, West Lothian is not too far from the sea, we are inundated with Oystercatchers every summer. Livingston is blessed with two things critical for the Oystercatchers environ; 1, plentiful grass verges and roundabouts upon which they can probe for worms [their main diet – not Oysters!], 2, numerous 1970’s-1980’s industrial estates that have sprawling low-rise buildings [as Livingston has no green belt and space is not an issue] upon whose shingle roofs the Oystercatchers find a an improved simile of their usual nesting habitat – only these don’t have land predators like the beach and are therefore safer for raising their chicks. As a result Livingston has become an extremely popular place for Oystercatchers who dot the grass verges in their mating pairs and can be heard flying overhead with their distinctive pee-wit calls. Thus the entire family is obsessed with these characterful birds. In our hallway alone we have around 4 or 5 pieces of art depicting Oystercatchers. So in truth my other half desperately wanted the bottle when it is empty – so I had to oblige.
Bread dough, yeast, pastry and sugar sweetness with cooking apples – in essence apple pie or strudel
Apples, warm gingerbread, earthy raisins, a little coconut and vanilla and cereal, like muesli with apple and cinnamon
Smooth floral, sweet and savoury with a pinch of salt [not the full on sea spray like Old Pulteney or Talisker]
Would I buy it again:
This dram diminishes upon drinking, the aromas promises much and is really quite complex but the flavours are simpler and the finish simpler still. This is really a whisky for the nose and is fun to warm the glass in the hands and see how powerful and complex these get. Really easy drinker – I’m not sure if I feel this is distinctly better [to my tastes] than numerous of the other floral and complex speysiders. I would definitely be intrigued if I stumbled upon perhaps more interesting finishes or cask strength versions of this – though how likely that is from what is probably a distillery producing malt mostly for blending I don’t know.