There has been a list of Blair Athol 1988 releases in the past three years or so (mostly from Signatory stocks) but nearly all of them were wine treated butts of refill sherry butts. This brand-new release from Maltbarn comes from an ex-bourbon cask.
Blair Athol 28 yo 1988 (49,6%, Maltbarn 2016, bourbon cask, 111 btl.)
Nose: starts on freshly cut green apple, oranges, later also apricots. Nice fruitiness, including a bright sour note. Sweet barley underneath, light vanilla and a blossomy note too. There’s also a nice herbal hint which reminds me of my daughter’s thyme-based cough syrup.
Mouth: sweet and creamy, but still with these fresh citrusy overtones. Green apples, unripe peaches, greengages. Then the oaky side sets in, with a little pepper, ginger and a (lemon)grassy touch.
Finish: medium long, on citrus, barley and some exotic spices.
A very fresh Blair Athol with some fairly standard bourbonny elements but also a vibrant fruity/citrusy side. It feels younger than it is, unfortunately that also makes the price a tad heavier than I expected. Around € 220.