This Banff was distilled 16 November 1966 and spent 34 years in a sherry cask before being bottled in August 2001. Sister casks #3437, #3439, #3440… have been bottled by Signatory, Blackadder, Douglas Laing and others. Cask parcel sharing is not a new thing.
Blackadder is a British / Swedish bottler founded by Robin Tucek. Although there isn’t much fuss about it, and although their websites are hugely outdated, it seems they’re still steadily working to find interesting whisky. Other labels like Clydesdale, Riverstown and Smoking Islay are also part of this company.
The Raw Cask series is interesting because they leave all the residues and sediments in there – most bottles are full of toasted oak flakes at the bottom. They claim it’s the best way to ensure a maximum amount of natural oils, fats and flavour. I’m not sure the effect is noticeable, but it’s a nice feature.
Banff 34 yo 1966 (52,3%, Blackadder Raw Cask 2001, sherry butt #3438, 539 btl.)
Nose: amazing how old Banff often manages to boast such a unique (and often quirky) nose. Tobacco leaves, a little turpentine, beeswax… very nice oak polish (rather than actual wood). Underneath is a nice fruitiness (apricot, yellow raisins) and plenty of warm vanilla. Some buttery notes and wood spices.
Mouth: more sappy oak now, albeit again the varnished type. Very spicy with ginger and nutmeg. Vanilla as well. Quickly drying towards the end, with a sharpness of mustard seeds. Sure, this has some loud oak but not the tannic kind.
Finish: dry, with apple skin, soft ginger and oak.
There’s always a certain unsexy sharpness to Banff and this is no different. On the nose the oak polish is definitely an asset, on the palate it might be a little too much to be a real stunner. Now virtually impossible to find. Many thanks Joeri.