Single malt whisky - tasting notes

02 Sep 2011

North British 1991 (Master of Malt)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Grain

Edinburgh-based grain distillery North British is usually found in older expressions (we’ve even had a 48 year-old). Here’s a medium aged single cask version bottled by Master of Malt.


North British 1991 20yo - Master of MaltNorth British 20 yo 1991 (55,8%, Master of Malt 2011, first fill bourbon, 244 btl.)

Nose: rather warm at first with plenty of vanilla and fresh oak shavings. Soft white chocolate / very light mocha notes in the background. Sweet and thick. After some time it seems to loose some of its vanilla creaminess and it gets a little sharper, with traces of grass and Nivea cream that I found before in much older North British. Mouth: very sweet and quite surprising. Big notes of Pisang Ambon (banana liqueur) and Malibu (coconut liqueur). Very thick and almost sticky. Sweet corn. Pineapple syrup. Butterscotch. A burst of pepper and ginger in the end. Finish: not too long, still extremely sweet with some spirity notes and an oaky / spicy edge.

This is not a complex grain whisky but it’s interesting as it lacks some typical grain flavours but also shows a few less common elements. Around € 52.

Score: 82/100

North British 1991 (Master of Malt) 3 Ruben Luyten 2011-09-02
  • Ben @ Master of Malt

    To be honest, the main reason we bottled this is that none of us could quite believe it was anything other than a Bourbon when we got the cask sample…

    I’d never had a younger grain that was from first fill bourbon before, and it absolutely blew me away how much of the Bourbon character it retained.

    Even tried this in a few Bourbon cocktails, and it more than stands up for itself.

  • Ruben

    Well indeed, it has some bourbon elements but I found some typical grain elements as well. An interesting variation anyway, well found guys!

  • Mark Friedman

    I REALLY liked this dram. It is indeed unusual for many reasons but it is so buttery and full of golden deliciousness, but I also love Hedonism and Hedonism Maximus from Compass Box. Here are my notes:



September 2014
« Aug    

  • Tudval: Just because canadian whisky 'can' have other stuff in it, doesn't mean it does. Regulation is not the be all and end all. Certainly these days there
  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael): Just tasted this one. WOW. i am very very impressed Ruben. Amazing BFYB for 40 euro. this feels much older and so complex. WOW again. dang!
  • bakerman: I will look for the cheaper unpeated Caol Ila as I am interested to compare it with the younger versions released earlier (8 and 12 years). I will als

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1614 notes by Ruben

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