Banff 1975 (Douglas Laing OMC 3971)

Did you know Banff used to supply the British House of Commons with their house malt? The parliament is still bottling whisky by the way, both single malts and blends (it’s quite easy to find this blend by Gordon & MacPhail).

This Banff 1975 was matured in a refill hogshead.

Banff 1975/2008 DL OMC 3971 Banff 32 yo 1975 (48,7%, Douglas Laing
Old Malt Cask 2008, DL ref. 3971, 164 btl.)

Nose: aromatic start with lemon, apples and pears. Slightly syrupy with a hint of vanilla. Hints of buttercups. Then it starts to evolve on wet limestone and gravel that I find pretty typical for Banff, maybe even some coal. Whiffs of oak mixed with coastal notes. An old-style Highland whisky. Not the most complex Banff ever, but very satisfying – fruity and austere at the same time.

Mouth: takes off on mustard seeds and something metallic / mineral. Then a wave of oak and spices comes along – very strong pepper notes! Over-infused tea. Quite sharp and invasive (hardly any fruit to be found) but very clean and very expressive. Finally, it fades on slightly bitter tonic water with a dash of lemon.

Finish: long, slightly mustardy again with lemon and apples.

You’ve got to be a fan of austere whisky to appreciate this. The label says it’s sweet, but I wouldn’t count on that too much (although there’s quite some fruit on the nose). A difficult whisky, but a very good example of this particular style. Around € 125.

Score: 88/100