Whisky Review: The Spirit Still Carsebridge 52 Years Old 1964
- Category: Single grain scotch whisky
- Origin: Carsebridge distillery
- Bottling: The Spirit Still
- ABV: 40.8%
- Cost: £390
What they say
CARSEBRIDGE is a fallen giant. Founded in 1799 as a malt distillery, it switched to grain production in the 1850s to satisfy the growing thirst for blends. Once the largest distillery in Scotland, its stills fell silent in 1983. A rarely encountered single grain. Gone, but not forgotten.
Official tasting notes:
Beguiling. Enchanting. A tasting menu of decadent deserts. Crème brûlée, dulche du leche, brandy snaps with whipped cream, dark chocolate gingers and coffee cake. On the side is maple syrup and demerara sugar. Getting lost in a Ghillie’s fly tying cabinet. Old feather pelts, resin, wax and varnish mingling with old wood.
What I say
Distilled at the long lost Carsebridge grain distillery, which was established in Alloa by John Bald as a malt distillery in 1799, but switched to grain distilling after a few decades of operation. One of the initial six distilleries that formed Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in 1877. Carsebridge closed permanently in 1983.
This example was distilled in 1964 and filled into an ex-bourbon barrel for 52 years of maturation.
Bottled at cask strength 40.8% ABV
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Sauternes gold (8/20), oily, medium-fine tears, move imperceptibly leaving long, fine legs.
- Nose: A beautiful buttery and vanilla sweetness assails the nose, with such depth, Madagascan vanilla extract, vanilla fudge, Portuguese custard tarts, baked pureed apple and sweet lemon, vanilla and lemon sponge cakes, this smells like my daughters 1st birthday cake, dry old oak wood, quite fresh, linen and dusty icing sugar, foam banana sweeties and hint of tropical dried pineapple and mango.
- Taste: Light-bodied and silky feeling on the palate, this has that zest of tropical fruit much more up front now, fresh pineapple, mango, banana, some peach, vanilla, rhubarb and custard sweeties and a mixed bag of other old sweetie shop favourites, coconut ice, foam banana, a touch bitter like sour plum, vanilla cream, buttery but dry/well-baked sweet pastry, fudge or caramel, a sharper/fresher oak wood, pencil shaving almost, white chocolate and coconut Raffaelo’s.
- Finish: Medium, drying, oak wood, butterscotch, toasted coconut and dry linen again.
Beautifully sweet but also fantastically proud of its grain spirit heritage, incredibly sweet, fresh and lively for its age. I could easily loose myself on the nose alone. The palate has a little bitterness from the oak wood and a zing of tropical fruit juice but these provide the perfect foil to a mass of white chocolate, vanilla, coconut and banana sweetness. The finish is a little shorter than I wanted it to be, but again for a single grain whisky exactly what I was expecting.
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