I tried one Inchgower 1980 so far (TWA Sea Life series) and I really didin’t like it. Luckily I also had excellent 1974–1975 expressions, including from the same bottler Maltbarn. Also, this 1980 was bottled from a bourbon cask whereas the other one was from a sherry cask.
As you know, most of these rare casks are sold in larger parcels and distributed among independent bottlers. Most of the independent Inchgowers I know were bottled around 2010-2012. It suits Maltbarn that they’re trying to hold back such casks once in a while, in order to release them much later.
Inchgower 35 yo 1980 (51,4%, Maltbarn 2016, bourbon cask, 48 btl.)
Nose: quite a warm, sweet and slightly restrained fruitiness. Biscuits and honeyed notes, stewed fruits (including melons, ripe gooseberries and apple skins). Hints of paraffin and mint. Some leathery notes. Hay and subtle heather. Lightly dusty, which suits this profile very well.
Mouth: very creamy and fruity, all on sweet citrus, lime, tangerine, before it goes in a more herbal direction. Candied ginger, a little thyme and anise. Almonds and beeswax. Also something slightly hoppy – works well here.
Finish: long, with a lingering bittersweet note alongside subtle herbs.
Not a loud profile nor extremely aromatic. Nonetheless it’s very enjoyable and it shows a couple of unique touches. Around € 300. Only available from Maltbarn direct, there’s too little to distribute.