Welcome back to our new weekly series, delving into the world of old and rare whisky tasting. This week we are featuring this North-Port Brechin 1970 Connoisseurs Choice, with tasting notes by Phil Dwyer of Whisky Wednesday.
North Port-Brechin distillery was a victim of the 1980s Whisky Loch, and had a checkered history even before that. It was a small, family-owned distillery that was eventually shut down by DCL in 1983 and demolished just over a decade later.
This forgotten whisky was never officially bottled as a single malt. As a result, it is available only through independent bottlings such as the Rare Malts Selection by Diageo and the Connoisseurs Choice series by Gordon & Macphail.
This North Port-Brechin whisky was distilled in 1970 and bottled by Gordon & Macphail for the Connoisseurs Choice series. Serge Valentin’s tasting notes mention notes of squeezed apples and dried porcinis. He awards the whisky 84 points.
Review by Phil Dwyer:
“North Port-Brechin 1970 Connoisseurs Choice, 40% ABV
Colour – Medium Sherry
Nose – Rum? Loads of brown sugar and green apples, has a very toffee’d start. A very dominant nose of ripe sultana and raisins, more deep brown sugar/molasses. Solid guesses on this being some old and decadent sherry cask – there’s something earthy to it that isn’t peat, it’s more saline/salt like, like parsley or rock salt. There’s even a cucumber/mint note all the way at the back. Very Hakushu like. Stunning nose. Loads going on.
Palate – Light and spicy! Big, developing note of earthy herbs and sweet sherry as a direct contrast. The sherry first has a texture that’s like Coca-Cola. The longer you leave this on the palate the thicker it becomes, even at 40%. The more savoury side of this whisky is all over the place. It morphs from parsely and corriander, into chicken stock and MSG. A very salty, meaty style of long lasting flavour. They must’ve had some fun with this cask when it was ageing.
Finish – Delicate spiced dance around the sides of the tongue, but the sweetness loses the battle to the dominant savoury style of this liquid. I love this; it’s so wonderful. The finish is all oregano and thyme with the smallest dash of brown sugar still kicking around.
Verdict – Awesome, truly fun and weird, and wonderful. The nose on this thing just keeps changing, and changing. Never had that on a whisky at 40% before. 90/100. Would drink this every day if I could. “
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