At midnight on the 22nd of November 2011 an era has ended. The term Vatted Malt has been declared illegal, and a new term has come into life : “Blended Malt”. the SWA decided that the term vatted malt was not clear enough and replaced it with the new term. To celebrate this change and pay homage the the old and beloved term, John Glaser of Compass Box Whisky, conceived a whisky by that name : The Last Vatted Malt. This is indeed the very last such whisky to bear that name. The last vatted malt is a blend of two single malts : a 26 year old Islay single malt distilled at the village of Port Askaig aged in a Bourbon Barrel accounting for 78% of the blend (Caol Ila I guess), and an older whisky at the age of 36 , distilled in 1974 at the village of Aberlour and aged in a first fill Sherry Butt, and accounts for 22% of the blend. A very interesting blending of an old sherried Speyside and an old (but younger) Islay. Sounds, very interesting, and from the reviews I have been reading in the last weeks, should be just great.
Nose: Malty and rather meaty nose with very subtle smoke and peat almost hiding behind some thick prune juice and sultanas.
Palate : Now the smoke is more noticeable with whiffs of smoke Interlacing nicely with a sweeter sherry element, raisins and sultanas with some wood polish and smoky wood loveliness. A very complex and rich mouth feel.
Finish: Toffee with peat candy and smoke going on for a long time.
An excellent dram, in a sexy bottle. I am sure it will be a real collector’s item, and most will not get opened, which is a real shame. the old Speyside and Islay really mix well together and the choice of casks is really impeccable, as always. Complex, classy and scrumptious. I love this. If you can afford one (it’s not cheap, but hey it’s quite an old vatting, or blending) Get it, and do yourself a favor, please open it and drink it, do not let it stay on your shelf and to collect dust. Whisky is for drinking! even if it’s the very last vatted malt.
Official sample provided by compass box whisky.