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

Style: Fruity and Spicy

Nose:

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.

Palate:

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.

Finish:

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

Thoughts:

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 and 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]

-Esmond