Convalmore 1981 Vintage G&M

A Simpler Time


It has been a long time since I sampled the fruits of Dufftown’s labour, by which I do not in any way refer to the Dufftown Distillery. You see, Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown on seven stills as saying goes. And as I already pointed out in an earlier review, there have been many more than just seven stills. In honour of this great whisky town’s tradition, I will be sampling a dram of the lost Convalmore distillery. Its life sadly cut short in 1985, this distillery now just serves as a glorified warehouse for next door neighbour Balvenie. A justified decision or is it time to reinstate this distillery?
Let’s find out…

convalmoreDescription: distilled in 1981 and bottled 17years later in 1998 as a vintage edition for the G&M Connoisseurs Choice range at the minimum 40% ABV .

Nose: soft is the key adverb here: first the synthetic aroma of vanilla candles, some fresh oak and red apples, with a touch of wood smoke. The nose has that damp room smell to it.

Mouth:  a light and fresh body, palate turns out to be a milky, dish water like substance, with paper tissues, cloves and a black pepper edge. A distinctive touch of dirty peat smoke, easily distinguishable from the Islay style.

Finish: long and bitter, milk chocolate, fermenting grass.

The Verdict: the nose is by no means special, but promising. The palate however cannot live up to the challenge. The traces of peat remind me of an earlier Coleburn experience, perhaps the same peat bog as source? On the whole, truly an abysmal dram, I had to rinse my palate with some Lagavulin.

Score: 73

Nose: 20

Taste: 16
Finish: 18 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