One more recent addition to the Diageo Distillery Exclusives is this one from Blair Athol. You do not see many OB BA’s so, this is a very good chance of getting one if you’re visiting the distillery. The whisky has undergone maturation in a mixture of refill, rejuvenated and American Oak ex-bourbon casks. With just 6,000 bottles available, Blair Athol 2019 Distillery Exclusive retails at RSP £90 per 70cl and bottled at 48% ABV.
Nose: Quite woody on the start with damp wood sort of feeling, before the wood spices kick in, as well as the orchard fruit. Quite a bit of spice in the form of Nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. There’s also a hint of shredded coconut, and a certain sweetness mostly related to toffee, brown sugar and indeed some licorice as well.
Palate: Quite creamy and sweet with vanilla and sugars, juicy and rounded, with the spice adding a nice touch, pepper, cinnamon and baked red apples in whipped cream complete the experience.
Finish: more caramel and toffee’d apples with quite a bit of wood tannins, drying towards the end, black tea and pepper too.
Conclusion: This is a lovely dram, and slightly better than the Royal Lochnagar exclusive IMHO. Some would argue the profiles are not quite the same, but for me, this is a deeper and more complex whisky. A nice addition to any whisky shelf.