Filled in October of 2009 this Blair Athol has spent 8 years in a re-charred hogshead. It’s also worth noting this is particularly dark if deep colour floats your boat. Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits profile.
Nose: Rich, cakey and packed full of sherry aroma – chocolate, caramel, stewed berries and dried fruit. Not nearly as sweet as you might be expecting from the colour, this has aromas of olive oil, sunflower seeds and quite a strong nuttiness – macadamia in particular. Deeper, earthiness is present, but rather than moist soils, this seems more like dried, dusty, cracked earth. Water adds some tobacco (both fresh and old) as well as a touch of vanilla.
Taste: Big sherry flavours to begin - chocolate, toffee, coffee grounds and sponge, alongside honey, vanilla, cherries and crystalline ginger. Sweeter than the nose with brown sugar, figs and dates and a slightly charred bitterness. The addition of water is quite softening, reducing sweetness (but also definition) and adding in some leather and oaky flavours.
Finish: Medium, with cinnamon, pepper and a dry earthy quality. Quite oaky at this point.
A sound Blair Athol with more complexity than you might expect from 8 years of age. There’s some solid flavours and interesting combinations (olive oil and sunflower in particular), but just a little too much oakiness in the back palate and finish for my liking. Nevertheless, lots going on to think about and chew over, and well-priced at £50.
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