Pittyvaich 1977/1989 James McArthur

Grandmother's Strawberry Jam


“Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown stands on seven stills”, but anyone with a brain or who still has most of his fingers, can count that there are nine of them.
However it is true that there were never more than seven operational at the same time. With the loss of Parkmore in the 30’s the town was only running on six for more than forty years. With Pittyvaich, it regained its claim in 1975, only to lose it again ten years later with the closure of Convalmore. With the birth of Kininvie the town’s slogan came true again in 1990, nevertheless three years later Pittyvaich met its untimely demise.

distilled back in 1977, matured in Bourbon cask #15096 for 12years and bottled at 54.0% ABV in 1989 by James McArthur.

Nose: a dusty and grassy nose full of dried hay and traces of soap. Not too pleasant if you ask me.
(with water added: a new whiff of apple cider dishwashing detergent, highly agreeable)

Mouth: oh my: full bodied and softly fizzing on the tongue. The palate, I can best describe as licking the inside of jar of strawberry jam. Looks like grandma’s secret ingredient was a fair dash of Cointreau!
(with water added: more diverse in its fruity notes, yet much more bitter and the pepper becomes a dominant force)

Finish: medium, but providing a lingering warmth, black pepper & wood.
(with water added: cider apples and nugget of bitter dark chocolate)

The Verdict: Pittyvaich is hardly a roaring name, so expectations were low from the beginning. The nose only seemed to confirm my preconceived prejudices. But that strawberry-sweet pallet was quite a treat! Though there are manifest changes in the nose and finish by the addition of water, I would suggest keeping it neat, not that the palate suffers from hydrophobia or something, but it ruins the best part of the dram.

Score: 82

Nose: 19

Taste: 22
Finish: 21 Balance: 19
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house