Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Half-Century Blend, Batch 1

A 50 year old blended whisky from the blended whisky company.  A remarkable thing even though I have had quite a lot of very old whisky recently.  For example(very special, buy two bottles) 43 year old Cadenhead’s blend from last year, the (amazingly still in stock) 36 year old sherried creations, the 50 year old Douglas Laing Invergordon (there’s a 52 year old out this month), Timorous Beastie 40 year old (notes are in the can) and anCnoc 1975 (ditto).

Anyway this is another slice of history in a tincture of ethanol.  Thanks to the blended whisky company for the sample!

The Half-Century Blend, Batch 1, 50 years old, 45.5% A⊕+

the-half-century-blend-whiskyNose - Gentle, waxy, appley, tobacco laden complexity, quite a lot of floral grain. Balanced sweetness, really lovely judgement on the cask influence and really, really clean. Toffee apples, glazed carrots, lamb fat, fresh pipe tobacco, old polished wood, cold charred wood, candied peel and just the most elegant, beautifully poised bourbon cask. Very impressive - loads of fruit, sweet without being sweet and extremely well balanced.

Body - Rich, cakey, quite drying with a big old grain hit sandwiching spikes of toffeed malt, tobacco cask and charred wood. The intense age of this whisky is immediately recognisable in the delivery - drying, intense oak. After a few sips that fruit, malt and cigars fights out of the wood. This has every year well evidenced.

Finish - Extraordinarily long, liquorice and joss stick, big oils but mouth puckeringly drying. Aniseed and black pepper, cherry tunes, threads of rolling tobacco in the mouth.

An absolutely phenomenal nose on this whisky, the kind of deliciously entrancing fruit, wax and wood that smacks of those tiny tastes of under the counter bottles you sometimes get at whisky festivals, or tastes of ridiculous samples in distilleries. It's obvious to say that this is old school whisky but it really smells it. The delivery is complex and fascinating, but a high grain content and intensely drying wood makes it less luxurious than you might hope for. A tasting whisky rather than a drinker, not that that's a bad thing. The finish is, I think, the longest I've ever experienced in any drink.

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