The story behind The Syndicate blend starts in 1958, when ten forgotten barrels of blended Scotch were discovered in a warehouse owned by William Muir Bond 9 Ltd. Having been distilled in 1954 it turned out to be a fine whisky, which was left to mature further until part of it was bottled in 1966 for the directors of the company and a group of friends – six people in total, hence the name.
Today The Syndicate 12 Year Old is made with 18 malt and 4 grain whiskies. As it is matured in a solera (a system of fractional blending) every bottle should technically contain a drop of the original 1958 blend, although in reality it is more of a gimmick. After blending it is married for one year in 4 year old Oloroso sherry butts.
The Syndicate 58/6 has been around for several years now – it seems to have shifted owners at some point. We’re trying a new 2017 bottling, part of the Douglas Laing portfolio.
The Syndicate 58/6 12 yo
(40%, Douglas Laing 2017)
Nose: richer than most blends. Lots of honey, raisins, orange peel, fruit compote, nicely integrated with some apricots and perhaps a hint of mango. Subtle oak. Subtle hints of toasted grains as well, but in a blind tasting I would rather tag this as a single malt. Cinnamon pastry with vanilla.
Mouth: it may lack a bit of punch, but the flavours are nice. Caramelized apples and pear compote, a little marmalade and raisins. Then a hint of toast and candied ginger. Malty sweetness. Subtle sherry notes too (figs, bramble).
Finish: not too long, on toffee and nutty notes.
A gentle blend but one with an above-par elegance and richness. Even without the marketing blurb it’s simply a good blend. Now let’s hope there will be a higher strength version in the future. Around € 35-40.