This little 20ml bottle was a Christmas present from my younger brother-in-law, who, apropos of nothing, lives in Yorkshire.
Actually, I’m just being facetious, it was a great present and better than a bog standard bottle of whisky from a supermarket, and most whisky lovers would sooner have “small and rare” instead of “large and ubiquitous”.
Based in Pitlochry, Perthshire, Blair Athol is technically a Highland distillery, but is one of the southernmost and is much further south than Speyside. It has a good reputation and it’s 12-year-old is very highly regarded.
At first impressions, it’s very pale for an 11-year-old, and after some investigation, it appears to have been in a refill barrel. Compared to their 12-year-old this very pale and lemony coloured, like the wee of a well-hydrated person, mid-afternoon. The 12-year-old is more like David Dickinson after a fortnight in Magaluf.
The other negative is sulphur. I’m really hyper-alert to sulphur and I get quite strong notes of it in this. Some people don’t mind it, but I’m with whisky writer Jim Murray who spent the first dozen pages of the 2013 edition of his “Whisky Bible” bemoaning it.