Review: Blair Athol 12 Years Old Flora and Fauna

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Distillery: Blair Athol

Bottling: Diageo

ABV: 43%

Cost: £45.23 from Master of Malt

blair-athol-12-year-old-whisky

What they say:

Blair Athol Distillery stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry, Perthshire. From the water of the Allt Dour burn comes our 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, with a mellow deep-toned aroma, a strong fruity flavour and a smooth finish. Blair Athol wins hearts through its contribution to the Bell’s Blend, the most popular blended whisky in the UK.

On the nose fresh, some sherry, ginger, shortbread.

To taste sherry, shortbread, ginger, fruity, dryness.

Medium body, with a smooth round and warming finish.

What I say:

Sampled on numerous visits to the Blair Athol distillery, often alongside the higher ABV distillery only bottling. For some reason I always found this whisky so quietly understated that I would opt for other Flora and Fauna bottlings from the distillery shop (such as Mortlach 16 Years Old when it was still stocked). I finally managed to secure a sample away from the distillery to give this a proper tasting and came away pleasantly surprised, perhaps a bottle should be on my shopping list after all.

Colour:

Copper bronze, autumnal (12/20), medium tears leave finer legs

Nose:

Sherried & berried, hints of nuts, leather, tobacco leaf/cigar smoke, sweet and fruity, caramel, toffee, nut brittle, figs, dates, apple, banana and light milk chocolate

Taste:

Very smooth, polished highland toffee, crème brulee, gentle nuttiness, hazelnut puree with cocoa (Nutella), leather, soft golden raisins, figs, dates, more soft suede leather, a peppery spice develops, berry jam or jelly, redcurrant, blackberry/bramble and raspberry, roasted and caramelised almonds and hazelnuts

Finish:

Medium, polished & spiced sweet toffee, fruit & nut, cocoa powder, drying

Overall:

Great sherry influences with plenty of chocolate & nut but with a backing of smooth polished toffee.

Score: 84/100

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