Single malt whisky - tasting notes

14 Oct 2010

Old Rarity

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Blends

Old Rarity is a blend made by Bulloch Lade & Co., a Glasgow company which also owned Caol Ila from 1863 to 1920 when it went into liquidation. I don’t have much information but it’s probably a safe guess that this blend holds some Caol Ila? I’ve never tried any pre-war Caol Ila and we’ll probably never know.

 

Old Rarity - Bulloch Lade Old Rarity (86.8 proof, Bulloch Lade & Co. ca. 1940, 4/5 quart)

Nose: very buttery with hints of coal smoke and peat (don’t expect modern Coal Ila peat though). Quite some beefy notes, raisins and not-so-clean hints of organics and distant sulphur. Don’t let this put you off, the roughness really works well here. It’s clear that this is old-fashioned, manually crafted spirit. A few fruity notes shine through (peaches). Mouth: starts rather weak. Sherried notes. Some nuts. A lot of caramel. Metallic notes (OBE?). Again faint hints of peat and smoke. Finish: dark sugar and kind of a funny salt & pepper edge.


On the nose this Old Rarity blend has a lovely dirtiness mixed with sherry notes. On the palate it is slightly weak (compared to modern standards) and a little high on caramel. A true rarity but certainly worth looking out for. Thanks a lot Dirk!

Score: 84/100

ps/ Don’t forget the Lindores Whisky Fest in Oostende, where this kind of old whisky can be found. It’s less than two weeks from now!

Old Rarity 3 Ruben Luyten 2010-10-14
  • http://www.ardbeg.eu Geert

    I had an even older version open of this one than Dirk’s bottle,they were very similar.
    What struck me in this whisky,is the taste and smell of black coal ,the stills we’re coal fired at that time,so the smell of that must have floated around the distillery and warehouses .

    PS I have some prewar Longmorn and Teachers open at the Lindores fest

  • Johan

    I’m counting the days… CU in Ostend!

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

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1601 notes by Ruben

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