Whisky Review: Cadenhead Small Batch Blair Athol 1988 Aged 28 Years

Style: Fruity and Spicy


Sweet purple grape bubblegum, blue berries and dried apricots mix comfortably with stewed tropical fruits. Razor-hot peppermint edge carves in, while a touch of vanilla cream hides behind it. Plenty of barley sugar clusters around the core, distinct black peppercorns formed at the back. Dry spices finish.


Bountiful blueberries paraded with red cherries and baked tropical fruits. A robust peppermint wave presses forward and floods over the fruity core in the middle. Cedar wood gives a fragrant but a tinge of bitterness to it. Blood oranges, plums and apricots emerge as spices soften. Chocolate fruit tart and more dry finish at its tail.


A bite of fresh spearmint leaves, more blueberries and apricots staying till the end.


Another bottle I bought because of a very positive review, alas, it did not match my expectations, maybe I am just too picky these days… Anyway, this is quite a fruity dram which is slightly overrun by the spirit spice, which makes it feel a bit rough around the edges. I would have easily guessed this is a 18 years old or less instead of 28 if I have this in blind tasting. But on the other hand, the fruitiness is still pretty decent and maybe some water can unlock the dram.

[Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[53.6% / Independent Bottling / Cask Strength / 1988 Distilled / 2017 Bottled / 306 Bottles / Vatting of 2 Bourbon Hogsheads / t]