Showing posts with label 14 Years. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 14 Years. Show all posts

Blair Athol 2007 (Signatory Vintage)

“That Don’t Impress Me Much”

Whisky Review # 1025

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Blair Athol - Distilled: 07-09-2007
Bottled By: Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd, Pitlochry on 19-01-2022
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 1 - Bottle # 509 of 670
Age: 14 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 54.3% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Refill Hogsheads with 35 months Finish in Fresh Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 125 (June 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😑 Rather expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: 😑 Try a sample first before buying a full bottle


Golden (Natural Color) - The Sherry Butt did not provide a lot of extra color


Please give this Blair Athol enough time in the glass before Nosing and don't nose in the middle of the glass to avoid the initial wafts of Alcohol. The Nose is a Grassy, Fruity and slightly Acidic mix of Sweet & Sour notes. The influence of the Sherry cask Finish is limited. There's a slight edgy "unfinished" feel to the Nose.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Grass, Orange, Mandarin, Nectarine, Slightly Sour Berries, Cherries & Yellow Plums, Milk Chocolate,  Dusty casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon, Mint and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Honey, Wax, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Bananas and Figs, Green Apples & Unripe Pears and Bananas, Lemon, Nuts, Fresh Herbs, Acetone, Pork Sausages & Cloves.


The slightly Edgy and "Raw" impression remains on the Palate presenting a mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour & Dusty notes. Dry as well. Spirit & Casks have somehow not managed to produce a sophisticated end product. Something is just not there but it's not easy to pinpoint the problem. I believe that the casks are the main issue in this case.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Slightly Sour Berries, Cherries and Yellow Plums, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Licorice and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Apples, Nuts, Tangerine, Banana, Milk Chocolate, Pork, Herbal Tea, Ginger, Aniseed and Mint.


Middle-Long with Bitter, Sweet and Sour notes. The Bitterness increases towards the rather Dry end. Still Fruity (Citrusy) but also more Herbal and Spicy at this point with Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon, Mixed Dried Fruit and Nuts, slightly Sour Berries, Cherries & Yellow Plums, Banana, Milk Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Pork, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Aniseed, Mint and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Blair Athol neat.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Blair Athol was founded in Pitlochry (Pertshire) in 1798 by John Stewart & Robert Robertson, initially under the name Aldour. Only in 1825 did it receive its current name. It was mothballed in 1932 and bought by Arthur Bell & Sons, a family owned Blender. Production restarted in 1949 and from then on and until today Blair Athol became the heart of Bell's Blended Whisky. Eventually, the distillery, via take-overs, became part of Diageo. Only very few Single Malts are launched from time to time by Blair Athol so we mostly depend on independent bottlers in this respect. The only regular official bottling is the 12 Years Flora & Fauna. Blair Athol currently produces around 2.8 million litres of Alcohol per year.

I'm not impressed by this Signatory take on Blair Athol. I think the casks are to blame for this lackluster impression as the spirit itself seems Fruity enough. But somehow the marriage does not work and there's this constant feeling of a half-finished product. It's quite Sour and Acid as well and the Alcohol is never far away. I'm glad I had a sample to try and I would urge you to do the same before buying a full bottle of this Blair Athol.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                         June 27,2024

Cragganmore 2000 Review

Country: Scotland 
Region: Speyside
Brand: Cragganmore 2000 OB (Friends of Classic Malts)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age:  14 Years
ABV: 47.5 %
Date: 15/01/2014
Sample Provided by Marcus from Germany. Many Thanks!

Colour: Amber

Nose: A Full, Creamy and Enchanting combination of Sherry, Malt, Honey, Vanilla, Fruit like Mango, Coconut, Banana and Plums, Buttered Toast and Orange Marmalade, Brown Sugar and traces of Mint, Cinnamon and Fresh Herbs. Cragganmore is close to Aberlour and I do find some similarities with the A' Bunadh expressions although the latter of course posses a much higher ABV. In any case I find the Nose of this Cragganmore 2000 to be thoroughly enjoyable!  

Palate: Thinner than I expected after the Nose. Mainly Citrus Fruit now. Oak and Spices like Pepper and Nutmeg make themselves known. The Sherry, Malt and Honey are still there accompanied by Caramel/Toffee and a hint of Leather. 

Finish: Middle-Long, slightly Sugary Sweet with Candied Bananas and Oranges, Honey, Malt, Caramel, Dried Herbs and Pepper.

With a little Water you enhance the Fruity Aromas on the Nose and gain some Floral Notes as well. Palate and Finish do not change a whole lot although you get extra Spices in the Finish. You can safely play with a couple of drops without the risk of drowning this Cragganmore.

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 23 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

The Origin of the Sample!

General Remarks: The Cragganmore Distillery is located in the Spey Valley close to the A 95. It was founded in 1869 by John Smith. Today it is owned by Diageo and lots of Cragganmore go into Blends like Old Parr and White Horse. The Single Malt I'm tasting today is a Special Edition of 4987 Bottles that was prepared by the Distillery for The Friends of the Classic Malts. It was distilled in 2000, matured for 14 years in, what I believe to be, a mix of mostly Ex-Bourbon but also  Ex-Sherry Casks, is most likely Un-Chillfiltered and was bottled in 2013. I received a sample out of Bottle # 0010 from my friend Marcus in Germany. It wont be easy to trace but on auctions you can find the occasional bottle, priced between 130 and 240 US Dollars.  

Drinking Experience Neat: Good.

Conclusion: When I was Nosing the Cragganmore 2000 I thought that this Single Malt would rocket into my Top 10. But, as so often, the Palate and Finish could not quite deliver at the same level. I nosed his Cragganmore for almost an hour without getting tired of it. Lovely combination of Sherry, Tropical Fruit, Juicy Barley and Fresh Herbs. But on the Palate the Tropical Fruit was gone and replaced by a more common Citrus Flavour accompanied by Spices and Caramel. And in the Finish Sugared Candy started to pop up to replace the Fresh Fruit Flavours. In conclusion, the Cragganmore 2000 is a nice all round Speysider with a great Nose.

Jan van den Ende                                                      January 2014