Whisky Review: Inchmurrin 42 Years Old 1974 Authentic Collection

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Loch Lomond Distillery

Bottling: Cadenheads; Authentic Collection

ABV: 44.3%

Cost: £200

inchmurrin-42-year-old-1974-wc-ac-2

What they say:

Distilled at Loch Lomond (Inchmurrin) Distillery in 1974 and matured for 42 years in a bourbon barrel before bottling in September 2016, producing 25 bottles at 44.3% ABV.

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 24

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

Distilled at Loch Lomond Distillery using their Lomond Stills (a pot still with perforated plates in the neck which operate similar to a column still – in the case of Inchmurrin producing New Make at 85.9% ABV) in 1974, during the initial phase of opening between 1964 and mothballing in 1984. This single malt (!) has been matured for over 42 years in a single ex-bourbon barrel. It was previously sample/bottle-able as a cask end barrel at the Cadenheads Warehouse Tour in Campbeltown. In recent years however the ABV of this frequently open barrel was dropping dangerously close to 40% (under which it would no longer be whisky) so the dregs were mustered to produce a final outturn of only 25 bottles at 44.3% ABV.

Colour:

Yellow amber gold (9/20), medium tears and medium-fine legs

Nose:

An initial intense burst of caramelised toffee is gone in an instant! The glass seemed almost odourless for a while until dusty icing sugar sweetness, a little acetic acid/vinegar and musty vegetal aroma likened us to jars of cornichons or pickled gherkins, a musty old or antique even wooden cupboard in an antique shop (unopened for a while), stewed apple and pear fruits along with the tannic old wood took me back to some of the well-aged Calvados vintages we sampled this year, dried mango pieces too.

Taste:

Sweet, toffee, caramel, some cereal barley/porridge oats, dusty and musty old wood, tannic cold black tea, medium bodied, polished toffee, waxed lemons, dried red apple and mango, white balsamic vinegar infused with sage and thyme, spiced white pepper and freshly ground almond paste. With water a little vanilla cream was discernible with a fresh menthol/eucalyptus ‘mouthwash’ quality to the herbality.

Finish:

Long, dusty, drying, toffee’d malt and dessicated/dry oak wood

Overall:

Rather uninspiring. Perhaps I had too high hopes for this whisky? Take some time with it as it doesn’t give much away easily. For its age I found this remarkably unremarkable. In stark contrast to a particular other 42 year old I have sampled which was so woody as to be almost undrinkable!

Score: 84/100

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