Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another sad day

I just finished this 35 year old Banff (11/1975 @ 45.4%) from Duncan Taylor and sadly understand that there is little more to be found.  Banff distillery was established in 1824 and rebuilt on a different site after fire damage in 1863. The distillery was rebuilt following another fire in 1877 and came under the ownership of Scotch Malt Distillery in 1933. The distillery was one of many casualties in 1983 and has since been demolished. Indeed this is all that is left -

Banff whiskies have always impressed me. Most have been in bourbon casks and all have an wonderful blend of sweetness from the bourbon and smoke from the char. This one is really good but does no blow me away. Still worth searching it out (as are other rare Banff releases)
A tasting note that resonates:

Nose: Green apples, grassy, clean, intense oak (no doubt from the oak cask involvement of 35 years!)
Taste: Let it sit for a good while before tasting. Otherwise you will get nothing from this gem. The taste is exactly like the nose, which is impressive- and it's more. Initially, rich green apples, floral, soft- typical Speyside. However, within ten seconds of sipping, a very sharp, cask involved taste hits you intensely- lots of oak and stinging from the alcohol, white pepper. This one is very intriguing, and is undoubtedly cask strength. After awhile, rich, vegetal notes linger and keep the finish clean.
Finish: Clean. Need I say more? Very complex- lots of intrinsic quality and complexity to this relatively simple, yet old, Speysider.
Balance: Impressive- after 35 years this whisky has proven to be one of the best, and affordable, older whiskies on the market. The elegance of Speyside whisky and Banff, is present in this bottle. 23/25

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