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1974 Invergordon 45 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky (750ml) SKU #1430028

Price: $349.99

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Tasting Notes

The single malt explosion of the last decade has created more interest in Scotch whisky than ever before. Along with the resulting throngs of devoted malt lovers, an unheralded category has begun to make inroads with connoisseurs and collectors alike. Single Grain whisky is the other side of Scotch, the hidden side. Normally relegated, the unmentionable filler for the great blends, when it was first created in the mid-19th century, it was extremely controversial. But the very thing that makes grain whisky so profitable for blenders also makes it so extremely intriguing - it's inexpensive to produce. It's used as base to stretch and soften the complex malts, so not a lot of character is needed when they're young. But if they survive longer, things begin to get interesting. Concentration through evaporation is where the magic is hidden. This glorious cask, distilled nearly half a century ago, represents the very finest the category has to offer. Were it a single malt, it would easily fetch several thousands of dollars. It's hard to argue that these very old grains aren't some of the most overtly delicious whiskies around. They don't quite replace malt, but they do scratch a very unique itch, which only grows stronger as you experience more of the old glories. Nothing is softer or smoother. Less than 82 liters of this liquid gold were dumped from a single refill bourbon barrel and priced as an obtainable luxury. Expect surprisingly powerful aromas of coconut, honey and citrus.

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Staff Reviews

  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This cask of grain whiskey is elegant and balanced with delicious delicate flavors. A small splash of water really opens it up, showing a nuance and creamy spirit that has caramel and honey flavors. Pretty and easy this is a whiskey to enjoy.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    It's hard to put this whisky into its proper context. We've tried to explain grain whisky in so many ways over the years, but nothing ever quite does it justice. It's simply not malt and it's certainly not bourbon. While it may share some characteristics with these, the single grain we bottle deserves its own focus. I believe part of the unique character of these whiskies comes from the fact that they were never meant to be bottled on their own. They were supposed to go into blends long ago. Unlike the forgotten malts that reach this type of age - grain is often filled into quite neutral barrels - perfect for decades long aging without becoming overly woody or tannic. If you've ever had 40+ year old malt, while it's undeniably special, it can often be a little extreme and massively tannic. At 45 years of age, this grain in refill bourbon wears just enough wood to highlight the natural form in all its beauty. It's like lingerie for whisky at this point. You know it's there, but all you can see is underneath. In this case insane richness, melted caramel, fruit in fresh cream, butter pudding, orange zest and vanilla candy. It stands alone as an experience in the whisky world unlike anything else. Complex, smooth, friendly, sweet, and luxurious. All for a modest price tag considering this was distilled the same year Nixon was impeached. Any malt or bourbon that old would not only cost many thousands of dollars, it might just be undrinkable. This is why single grain truly stands apart.
  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    It's absolutely mind boggling that spirits like this still exist in barrel. There's growing interest in the Single Grain category and a huge part of that has to do with education. It used to be common practice to sell this stuff as "Single Malt Light," but I've found that framing the category does a disservice to both my customers and the whiskies themselves. In the end, good grain should be able to stand on it's on two feet and while it can have similarities to other whiskies -production-wise it falls somewhere in between single malt and bourbon- it doesn't need the comparison to single malt to find value. This incredible and rare spirit is exactly the type that carves it's own space out, while the 40 year we bottled this year feels much more like a brandy or old american whisky, this one is honest to goodness Single Grain. The nose is cotton candy, toasted brioche, roasted chestnuts, young orchard fruit (pears and crab-apples). The palate is so supple and soft it's like drinking pure cashmere. A bucket of interesting sweets and spices woven perfectly into the fabric: clove, cinnamon, sage, cane sugar, apple butter, milk chocolate and caramel corn. So approachable and delicious, there's simply nothing else in the store that goes down quite like this. A benchmark offering for the category.


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