Old Perth 21, 1996

So far in November I’ve done a week of whiskies distilled in the 1990s; a week of whiskies distilled in the 1960s and 1970s; and a week of peated whiskies. Let’s close out the month with another random theme: whiskies that are not single malt Scotch whiskies. First up is one that’s pretty close to being a single malt Scotch whisky.

This Old Perth 21, I am told, is a blended malt—which is to say it is a vatting of single malt whiskies from different distilleries; there is no grain whisky in there. As per the source of my sample, The Mighty Kravitz, there may be Glen Grant in here (I got this from his review which you can read here) and also some species of peated malt. None of that is for certain. What is certain is that this is supposed to be from a single sherry cask. Now, how does a blended malt emerge from a single anything cask? It seems highly unlikely that someone would have blended malts from two distilleries from the get-go and matured the vatting for 21 years in a cask. So, most probably, two casks were dumped into a single sherry cask for some small fraction of the 21 years on the label. And given that the outturn was 330 bottles it seems all but certain that cask was a butt (where did the rest of it go?). Anyway, let’s see what it’s like.

Old Perth 21, 1996 (55.1%; single sherry cask; from a sample from a friend)

Nose: Sticky and sweet to start with toffee and fruit (apricot, orange peel) with dry leaves coming in behind; just a hint of smoke as well. As it sits there’s a cereal note and the toffee expands. With water the toffee and the fruit are in nice balance and the leafy note recedes a bit.

Palate: Comes in hot, hotter than the abv would indicate, with ginger and oak spice. Not much sign of regulation sherry here. Begins to open up a bit as it sits in the glass; the gingery oak begins to yield some space to the sweeter notes from the nose and the citrus in particular begins to expand. This needs water though. Ah yes, with water the oak gets pushed back and the citrus gets brighter

Finish: Long. Nothing very interesting at first: the oak gets drier as it goes (though not tannic). As on the palate with water.

Comments: I had no expectations of this and don’t have very much to say about it now that I’ve had it. It’s a perfectly enjoyable sherried whisky that is not a stereotypical sherry bomb. What’s in it? I dunno—I’d believe Glen Grant but it could also be a whole bunch of other sherried Speysiders; and it could also be Glen Garioch. Good, honest whisky that doesn’t set off fireworks; but they don’t all need to.

Rating: 85 points.

Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!


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