Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-PX finish
Added colouring: No
Owner: Alistair Walker Whisky Company
Average price: €140.00
Official website: www.alistairwalkerwhisky.com
Not too long ago we reported on a 15yo single cask from Blair Athol matured in an ex-Moscatel cask, signed Infrequent Flyers, which we liked a lot and of which we gladly keep a memory and a bottle.
Today we are therefore even more curious than usual to confront a new Alistair Walker proposal from the same distillery: a 14yo that has received a finish, of unspecified duration, in an ex-PX cask. Blair Athol’s whisky often finds an excellent taste amplifier in ex-sherry casks, so let’s see how it went this time, not before thanking Lamberto for the sample, taken at the last Whisky Week in Florence.
Distilled on 25 February 2008 and bottled in August 2022 at 53%ABV in 680 bottles, this is Infrequent Flyers release no. 88.
The colour is bronze.
On the nose, the very first impression is of balsamic vinegar, in the company of sultanas, berries (blackberries specifically), dried figs and apricot in syrup. Black cherry in two versions: candied and in syrup. A slight hint of chilli enlivens the perceptive range, which is enriched over time by a hint of AfterEight. The strength is not even remotely perceptible.
On the palate, the mouthfeel is spicy, with pepper and chilli on the shields. Then emerges the classic port of former sherry casks: dried figs, nuts (walnuts and almonds), fruit in syrup (apricot and peach), cappuccino and dark polished wood. At a distance we detect a touch of malaga and a memory of blackberries, with the alcohol content here reinforcing the profile and noticeably lengthening the finish, warm and enveloping, on notes of chilli and nuts.
Who knows if we will ever find an Infrequent Flyers whisky that we don’t like or, at best, that convinces us a little less. Yes, because we may well admit to having a soft spot for Alistair Walker’s products, but what is certain is that we enjoy every taste without restraint (and without substantial reservations).
And this so violently, and at the same time sweetly, sherried Blair Athol is no exception.