Blair Athol

Blair Athol 20 Years Old 1997 Connoisseurs Choice (54.5%, Gordon & MacPhail, Refill HH #5720, 255 Bottles, 2018)

Whisky Review: Blair Athol 20 Years Old 1997 Connoisseurs Choice

  • Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Blair Athol distillery
  • Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice
  • ABV: 54.5%
  • Cost: £135.95
G&M_Connoisseurs Choice_CS_Blair Athol 1997 54.5 (20180221)_sml

Image courtesy of Gordon & MacPhail

What they say

Blair Athol 20 Years Old 1997 Connoisseurs Choice Batch 18/010 (pdf)

Official tasting notes:

  • Aroma: Charming and fruity: pressed apple and fresh squeezed lime infuse with banana, dried apricot, and subtle pineapple; hints of vanilla, elderflower, and cocoa powder remain.
  • Taste: Creamy, sweet ripe melon, nectarine, and banana abound. Red apple emerges and transforms into milk chocolate subtly highlighted by hints of oak.
  • Finish: Long and intricate with bursts of pepper and mature oak.

What I say

The second in our trio of Gordon & MacPhail’s Connoisseurs Choice 2018 Batch 1 samples hails from Blair Athol distillery.

Somewhere I am a lot more familiar with, having visited on numerous occasions thanks to its reasonably nearby location in Pitlochry.

I am much more familiar with official Blair Athol expressions that usually have a rather healthy sherry-matured influence, so this refill American hogshead single cask should reveal much more distillery character. When this was distilled in August 1997 I was probably celebrating my exam results and acceptance onto my Neuroscience Honours (4th) Year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh. A summer of wild celebration!

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Dark gold (11/20), very slow, fine beads and fine legs.
  • Nose: Fruity, a mixture of tangerine, orange, lemon and sun-dried golden raisin, a hint of pineapple, juicy and sticky, almost bbq sauce-esque, their are cleaner and crisper new oak or sandalwood woody aromas, fresh and slightly floral, nutty almond or hazelnut, reminds me of plum sauce/Cantonese dish.
  • Taste: Juicy spiced fruits, plums, raisins, fresh lemon and orange juice, apple, apricot, candied peel, ginger spice, red fruits/red apples, barley sugar sweetness, pineapple fritters and hints of star anise or five spice powder.
  • Finish: Medium, fruity, warming, mouth-watering and juicy with a touch of citrus freshness that cleanses the palate.

Overall

A juicy, sweet and fruity expression with touches of citrus and exotic spices, mouth watering.

Score 86/100

Shop for Blair Athol 20 Year Old 1997 Connoisseurs Choice (opens Master of Malt)

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