By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
The special spirit that came off the column still at the Moffat distillery 44 years ago should have never managed to make its way to the shelves of a little shop in California. It was certainly supposed to be dumped for some mild blend or traded off stiffen up some Drambuie. But instead this weird little bird was shuffled around and eventually forgotten in the back of some Lowland warehouse. Perhaps it was acquired by our friend Fred Laing along with the great Scotch liquidation of the mid '90s which saw the transfer of countless casks of rare closed distilleries to this small family owner blend, Ardbeg, Port Ellen, Cambus, Garnheath. We'll never really know the journey this barrel took, but only what it brought here with it. A nose a pure powdered candy, vanilla extract, quince peels and ripe steamed hominy. The somewhat restrained elegant nose is nothing like the mossy funky style we saw on her sister casks last year and doesn't prepare you for the rich almost syrupy texture that invades the palate on entry. As the fabulous JP Robinson would say, "it's baby's bottom." The definition of smooth, but it's not some slight little thing. The absolute lack of burn let's it completely -envelope the palate and draws out a host of odd fruits -jelly melon, loquat, dragon fruit, white raspberry. The finish moves slightly more savory showing turbinado syrup, cake frosting, meringue, and white chocolate. It's astonishing that this is just oak, spirit and time rather than some mysterious concoction of fruit and sugars. Dangerously easy considering the nearly 100 proof. A superlative example of the merits of old grain whisky and worth every single penny.