Bottle Name: 52.24 Tin foil hats at Dornoch Castle
ABV: 58.3% Distillery: Old Pulteney Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Region: Highlands
Always nice to see 52 on the outturn list – particularly when it's served au-naturale like this bottling – 17 years in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. Oily & Coastal profile.
Nose: Immediately coastal with salty sea water, salted caramel, limestone and rockpools. Creaminess is introduced via coconut milk and vanilla icecream/granite. There’s a slight nuttiness in the background – hazelnuts – it sits with charred cask ends and a sense of viscous engine oil. Reduction adds crumbled biscuits, bung cloth and fresh paper as well as some floral honey and toasted bread.
Taste: A wonderfully balanced combination of lemons, gooseberries and greengages with overall maritime influence – salt toffee, brine, minerals and chalky aspirin. There’s plenty of umami flavours here – water crackers, green bell peppers and salted popcorn. The addition of water brings out stone fruits with peach and apricot, whilst also emphasising some industrialness – axle grease, shale and coal dust.
Finish: Long in length with plenty of alluvialness – clay, putty, granite and shingle.
Fans of the distillery’s OB 12 year old would do well to take a look at this Society bottling – the profile is similar, but on steroids. Utterly maritime, highly chiselled, crystalline and precise. They don’t come much more coastal than this. Joint recommendation of the month.
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