Whisky Review: Sansibar Speyside 1978 Aged 41 Years

Style: Sherried and Dignified

Begins with light and elegant but also round and sweet red fruits – mostly in the form of cranberries and pomegranate with a gentle umami touch. A herbal spike unlocks light floral fragrance, mineral notes and some chalkiness. Honey mead liqueur, cornflakes, malt and barley. Followed by oak, white pepper, Pinot Noir, dark chocolate and nutmeg. A good level of sherry influence, but it does not mask the distillate and there is plenty of breathing space around.

Sherry entrance, ruby grapes, Strawberry Daiquiri and watermelons, buoyant and refreshing. Oak sets in rather early here, pine trees and timber shed. Herbal liquor spreading across with white pepper sprinkles. Secondary notes of elderflower, assorted berries, cornflakes and acai bowl gradually unfold over time. Vanilla cream blending into strawberry jam, barley with a mineral brush to finish.

More gentle sherry influence continues to flow and accumulates towards the end. Sweet but not cloying, more malt, white pepper and oak.

An elegantly crafted Speyside we have here. Not often you can see a 40-year-old plus whisky that is feather-light without being overwhelmed by the oak or the sherry. Every element gets to play a part in this expression – whether it be the sherry, malt, oak, spice and other side notes are beautifully assembled and balanced. Now I am wondering which distillery this is from, very lovely.

[51.1%| Independent Bottling| 1978D| 2019B| 154 Bottles| Non Coloured| Non Chill Filtered **]

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]