Blair Athol 8yo (OB)

Bold Move

Before the Flora and Fauna 12yo became the poster child for the Blair Athol distillery, in the larger Classic Malts series of Diageo, Bells and sons ltd had their own standard offering of an 8yo whisky. Today in the NAS-era, people might call that a quite bold move, but just few decades ago brands were not afraid to slap a honest label on a young whisky. It seems the industry raised the bar just a tad too high in the 80’s and 90’s and afterwards they were too afraid to return to the old base line. Today’s Blair Athol is a vintage release from the 70’s, with the good old grey-haired logo. Don’t you just love it ? Of course were not here for the bottle, we’re primarily interested in its contents..

blair atholDescription: distilled in the 70’s matured for 8yo, and bottled by Bells and Sons at 40% ABV or 70 Proof.

Nose: uncomplicated and gentle. With notes of grain and butter, with a soft touch of rubber. A vague touch of salt maybe? Grassy undertones with a thin layer of caramel.

Mouth: oh such a surprisingly soft creamy body, like wrapping your tongue in silk. A palate that is vanilla pudding, a few slices of ripe banana and with a sauce of salty caramel. A bit of pepper around the edge but that is how we like it. A trace of stewed apple maybe?

Finish: short with a drop of honey and dying on some bitter oak-tannins.

The Verdict: what a gentle likable whisky. Ok it is far from complicated let me make that clear, it is smooth like a river stone. If you’re looking for a whisky with a story  to tell, you are barking up the wrong tree. But it is just a satisfying sipper, it just does the trick without being overly bland or boring. I could easily see me downing a few of these on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Score: 81

Nose: 19

Taste: 21
Finish: 19 Balance: 22
   < 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