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1997 Blair Athol 21 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Previously $110) SKU #1429990

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Tasting Notes

Sharing many characteristics with Speyside's Auchroisk, the Highland's Blair Athol is another Diageo workhorse distillery. Sitting just outside the town of Pitlochry, Blair Athol sees a hot and fast production process which lends a singed and nutty base note to the whisky. A cloudy wort and controlled level of solids coming across in the wash still give it an even heftier and richer character. Famous for its ability to age well in sherry cask, we have historically sought out heavily sherried versions of this wonderful malt. In selecting this cask, we have taken a different approach. All that weight and richness of the new make, while it stands up to sherry admirably, actually contributes to a full flavored finesse when aged for long periods in bourbon wood. The oily, nutty character remains strong even after 21 years, but the aging process has imparted wonderful tropical fruit which would otherwise be covered by an active sherry cask. It is in a quality bourbon hogshead like this one you can see why Blair Athol is the ancestral home and heart of the famous Bell's blended whisky, once the UK's most popular blend. Luscious and long-finishing, this Old Particular bottling is a view into the very history of the Scotch industry.

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Staff Reviews

  • Andrew Tobin
    By: Andrew Tobin
    1/27/2020
    K&L Staff Member
    This has to be one of my favorite single barrels that we have brought in. I've now revisited it several times and every experience just gets better. The nose is bright and fruity with undertones of dried cut grass, warm spice, and a hint of white tea. A wonderfully complex palate greets you with stone fruit and lemon up front which then softens to fresh grain, cereal, hay, and more savory spices than appeared on the nose with a hint of white pepper. This is a really special whiskey, one that I regularly suggest to customers looking for something that is approachable to about anyone but will still floor our whiskey drinkers. My advice to anyone going shopping for a special bottle, don't overlook this bottle, it punches well above its price range!
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    12/4/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    The sherry casks we've sought out from this great Pitlochry distillery have been some of the most well received age malt stocks we've ever brought in (last years divisive cask aside). This year we've broadened the Blair Athol horizon by getting a clear look at the malt itself after 21 longs years in a more subtle wood. The glory of the distillery is on full display. There is a waxy texture that glues together a wide array of fruit and cereal ranging from crisp apples and ripe pear to steamed barley and fields of wheat. A floral honey note interweaves sweetness from the nose down to finish. The slight prickle and mild sweetness of cinnamon dusts your senses on the finish. With a bit of springwater the dram opens into a more robust combination of chocolate and creamy oatmeal. It's simply everything there is to love about Blair Athol in its purest form.
  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    12/4/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    The "big" distillery in the town of Pitlochry is one we've long sought out. Last year we had a great big sherry butt that many found delicious and others found very funky. I absolutely appreciate that not every cask is going to appeal to every customer, but some barrels are so overtly delicious and easy drinking that I can recommend them to almost anyone with great confidence. In extreme contrast to the controversial cask last year, this Blair Athol is so obvious and approachable it's hard to argue with it. The nose is a mélange of fresh cut hay, Seville orange, a little dill maybe and Barlett pears. The palate is sweet up from with some biscuit and fresh malt coming through. With water the nose expands significantly on the pear and orange components. The palate becomes very racy and minerally with a building white pepper tempered by malty wafers on the finish. A zesty lively drink that is really hard to put down. This one should be much less divisive than others Athols.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    11/24/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    This single cask has a lot to offer. It is delicious, unique and interesting. The nose is rich and teasing. In the mouth it is full bodied with lush malt flavors that are enhanced by dry savory undertones. I found this interaction with between the sweet and savory is both pleasing and interesting. This is a single malt to set with and think about. Don't overlook this treat.

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