Single malt whisky - tasting notes

14 Feb 2009

Ladyburn 1973

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Ladyburn

On Valentine’s day, what could possibly be better than a whisky named Ladyburn… one of the mythical names in the world of whisky. The distillery opened in 1966 and closed just nine years later. Now the distillery plant produces vodka for Richard Branson, among other spirits.  Only a handful of bottlings have been released, and this 27 years old 1973 was one of the last, although there are rumours about a few more casks in William Grant’s cellars. For most old whiskies, there is a risk of intrusive oak influence, and this Ladyburn was said to be on the edge. It was matured in bourbon oak and only 3000 bottles were made available.

They are highly sought-after, and most owners don’t bother opening their bottle because it’s so rare and expensive (over € 500).



Ladyburn 1973 27y Ladyburn 27y 1973 (50,4%, OB 2000, Cask 3233)

Nose: starts rather earthy and grassy. Quite sharp and rather ‘unwelcoming’. Some grainy notes: cereals, mashed potatoes. Walnuts. After a while, it develops floral and fruity notes. Very nice smell of apricots and apples. Mint. This one needed time to open up, but it was worth the wait. Mouth: really soft delivery. First impressions are very mellow, with sweet vanilla. But then, hello! An avalanche of fruit: grapefruit (the pink, sweeter variety), lovely strawberry, peach, orange, apple, blackcurrant. Common fruits, but also fruit flavours that you don’t find often, really interesting. Something of a dessert wine as well. The finish is on dry oak and liquorice, with some pear flavour. Not very long though.

Quite unique lowlands style. It’s not highly regarded for its taste but I liked it a lot!
Score: 88/100.

Ladyburn 1973 4 Ruben Luyten 2009-02-14
  • Ron Conley

    I have an unopened bottle which was a gift. Should I drink it, sell it or wait for the price to go up? Unwelcoming, do I need to let it breathe before drinking?

  • WhiskyNotes

    I would say it depends on your experience. If your not a malt enthusiast, its qualities may be lost on you. In any case it is an overpriced malt, it’s very rare but I’ve had much better for a fraction of its value. But if you’re really into old whisky, then you might as well enjoy this unique dram, especially if it was a gift.

    Bottles of whisky don’t require breathing like wine, just let it breathe a couple of minutes in your glass after pouring.



October 2015
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  • kallaskander: Hi there, Winter Gold gives the impression of a lost concept from the Cold War between whisky and vodka. That war is over, whisky won and the Drinks
  • WhiskyNotes: Obviously there are new articles each year (see my post about last year's edition) and the latest releases / statistics are added each year. If you've
  • Nate: I've never bought a copy. Is each year very different or is just buying the most recent sufficient?

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1891 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.