Origin: Lowlands (Scozia)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 87.00
Official website: dramfool.com
I return to British bottler Dramfool and a distillery in the little-explored Lowlands, this time specialising in single grains, something quite rare in Scotland.
Having become operational in 1887 two years after it was founded by Andrew Usher, William Sanderson, James Watson and John Crabbie, the North British distillery quickly became the largest single grain distillery in Scotland.
Based in Edinburgh, it had a difficult time continually challenging the giant Distillers Company Ltd, obtaining permission to call its distillate whisky only in 1908, since until then it was the exclusive right of those who processed malted barley.
With the closure of The Caledonian in 1988, The North British remained the only distillery of its kind in the capital, but history has its own irony, and after so many years it ended up being controlled by a co-ownership between Diageo and The Edrington Group.
Their distillate, with an annual production capacity of 70 million litres, mostly ends up in blends such as Johnnie Walker, The Famous Grouse, J&B and others, with the first single grain of the modern era made thanks to Douglas Laing in 2018.
So it’s a real treat that I find in my glass today, a 30-year-old from a single ex-Bourbon cask that has produced 182 bottles, making for a more unique than rare experience!
Light gold in the glass.
Heather and freshly cut grass greet the nose, with a very fresh and spring-like profile, accompanied by a good splash of lemon juice. Vanilla, apricots, candyfloss and honey complete the bouquet, along with pencil shavings and a spicy puff. Unusual and light, it invites you to taste it.
On the palate it’s again very drinkable, with slightly brighter fruit tones (lemon, apricots, pears) laid out on a damp grassy carpet, and a hint of old wood, dry and spicy, which is present as a constant aftertaste. More vanilla, white sugar and honey in a delicate sweetness without excess, with the alcohol content well integrated.
The finish is moderately long and fresh, with wood, sugar, pears, lemon and vanilla.
An easy-drinking whisky, even too easy to drink, which at thirty years of age is capable of uncommon delicacy and surprises with its very balanced flavours, where the wood becomes an integral part and not an unwelcome guest.