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Carsebridge Distillery Dramfool Independent Bottlers Lowlands Region Scotland

Dramfool Carsebridge 1976

Review of an old single grain from Scottish bottler Dramfool.

Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Grain Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 41.5%ABV
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon hogshead
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Dramfool
Average price: € 150,00
Official website: dramfool.com/
Vote: 86/100

Carsebridge was founded on 15 June 1798, when John Bald signed the lease for the land on which he would shortly build the distillery, choosing an area rich in coal, pure water and close to a port.
Initially they produced single malt, but the expansion of grains thanks to the blended boom led to a change in production in the 1850s with an exponential increase, which at the time exceeded that of malt whisky.
Production grew to such an extent that there was an oversupply in the market, forcing Carsebridge and six other Lowland grain distilleries to form the Distillers Company Limited.
A fire ravaged the huge complex in 1902, which lost more than nine months of work, and production resumed slowly, surviving the Great War, leading to a major redevelopment shortly afterwards and starting up yeast production as well, which continued with great success until 1938.
Further modernisation in the second half of the last century, but being the largest grain distillery in the 1980s didn’t save it from closure in 1983 and demolition in 1992, causing all traces of the huge structure to disappear.

But while there is nothing left of the distillery, there are still casks floating around in the various warehouses, obviously fewer and fewer with the passage of time, and one of these has ended up in the hands of the bottler Dramfool, who will soon be distributing this 44 year old single grain.
Having it in my hands today makes quite an impression, a survivor of a very different era in many ways, including the way whisky was seen (and experienced) when single grain was on the crest of the wave, and you wonder how much more it will change tomorrow…

Light gold in the glass.
A whiff of acetone heralds a slight alcoholic sting to the nose, which teases out the delicate aromatic freshness of vanilla, beeswax, candyfloss, green apple, aloe. The aromas develop gradually, in a crescendo of softness and roundness, bringing touches of caramel, ripe banana, even a hint of nutmeg. Slight impression of pencil shavings. A lively whisky despite its age.
In the mouth it becomes more robust, with an injection of ginger and aniseed on cereal brioche, apple, popcorn, vanilla, cinnamon, hazelnut, a hint of caramel and honey. Brown sugar. The profile is sharper, drier, less gentle and affable than on the nose, with the wood acting as an elegant background.
Quite long finish of hazelnut, vanilla, cereal, cinnamon.

A lively whisky despite its age, at times you almost forget you have a grain in the glass. More engaging on the nose than in the mouth, it still offers a non-trivial and interesting dram, a taste of times gone by but without the dust and cobwebs.

More from Dramfool in the blog:
Dramfool Ben Nevis 1996
Dramfool Cola Ali 4
Dramfool Cola Ali 5
Dramfool Invergordon 31yo
Dramfool Malt Can Heal 1992
Dramfool North British 30yo
Dramfool Sly Lichen 10yo

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