I was planning to close the month out with the SMWS Macallan trio that was on the list for the month. However, for one reason or the other I have not had time to go pick up my share from those bottle splits. And so they’ll have to wait till November. Filling their sherry-forward slots instead are a trio of sherry cask-matured malts from three different distilleries. First up, the youngest of the three, a Blair Athol 12.
This is also my first review of K&L’s 2021 casks. This lot—at least the ones I’ve got samples of from bottle splits—don’t seem to be teaspooned out the wazoo. Presumably with the Trump tariff on single malts a thing of the past, teaspooning is no longer needing to be resorted to in order to keep prices down. Well, I suppose K&L’s 2020 Blair Athol cask—twice the age of this one—bore the distillery’s name openly too. I rather liked that one; let’s see if this is a worthy stablemate.
Blair Athol 12, 2009 (59%; Sovereign for K&L; sherry butt 18070; from a bottle split)
Nose: Nice juicy notes of citrus (between lemon and orange) with some chalk coming up from behind. The citrus gets richer and is joined by some apricot with time and then there are some sweeter notes (berries of some kind). The powdered ginger from the palate shows up here as well. A few drops of water and the fruit intensifies with the sweeter fruit joined by something floral.
Palate: Leads with the citrus with some oak in support. Some leafy notes come up from below. Quite hot at full strength and a full texture. On the second sip, the savoury, beany notes that often show up in Blair Athol are present as well along with a bit of powdered ginger. Not too much change with time. Okay, let’s add some water. Hmm water is not as good for the palate as the oak seems to get amplified.
Finish: Medium-long. The citrus fades out, getting zestier as it goes. As on the palate with water. Longer but also more bitter.
Comments: Nothing amazing but this is very nice young sherried whisky if you like this slightly funky profile. Not sure if it’s still in pre-arrival or if it’s already all sold out but this is a very good deal if still available at $60. Bear in mind though that it’s not a sherry bomb by any means.
Rating: 85 points.
Note: I am for now suspending the EW! (Everybody Wins!) Rating that I’ve been using all year for K&L’s casks. K&L staff seem to have got over their angst at my scores for their releases. If that angst returns (to the comments on the blog) the EW! Rating may return as well—I do hate to hurt people’s feelings.