14 Oct 2010
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 (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!
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!