Antique Lions of Spirits – Birds (part 2)

Part 2 of the Birds label series from Antique Lions of Spirits. I already told you it was a tribute to the Moon Import style of the 1980s-1990s but apparently they managed to locate some of the original etching plates that were used back then. That means it’s more like the missing finale of the old Birds series.

In case you missed it, check out part 1 of the Birds series by Antique Lions of Spirits



Speyside Region 1975 - Antique Lions of Spirits - BirdsSpeyside Region Malt 41 yo 1975 (46,9%, Antique Lions of Spirits ‘Bird label’ 2016, Fino cask, 230 btl.)

Nose: lovely freshness. Entirely on pineapple and beeswax, always a treat. Tangerines, mirabealles, guava and a few white cherries. Light tobacco notes behind the fruit salad. Very subtle herbs (verbena) and mint. Buttercups and honey. Those casks, just wow.

Mouth: a mix of fruits and polished oak, constantly cross-fading. Oranges, Grand Marnier, mint and eucalyptus. Peppercorns. Hints of tobacco and camphor. Green mango, lemons and juicy grapefruits. Herbal honey. If I remember correctly, this one is a little more spicy and oaky than the Speyside 1975 from Sansibar last year.

Finish: long, minty, with green tea and coconut. Something of old Calvados too.

Great stuff, I have informed you plenty of times about the very high quality of this parcel of casks, this is no exception. Around € 495.

Score: 92/100





Blair Athol 1988 - Antique Lions of Spirits - BirdsBlair Athol 28 yo 1988 (51,2%, Antique Lions of Spirits ‘Bird label’ 2016, 262 btl.)

Nose: back to a European style of fruitiness. Rather creamy. Yellow apples, with a lot of banana ice cream as well. Hints of apricot yoghurt. Sweet barley notes, almonds, light vanilla. Keeps getting brighter in the glass.

Mouth: sweet, with an even bigger fruity side. Starts on tinned pineapple, warm peaches, plum compote and apricot jam. Then yellow raisins, custard and gentle oak spices. Apple pie. Coconut cream. A little mint. There’s something aromatic as well, perhaps bergamot notes.

Finish: long, spiced apples, malty notes and dried fruits.

Again a well succeeded dram. Very creamy on the nose, with a bigger fruitiness than expected on the palate. Around € 265.

Score: 89/100




Fettercairn 1988 - Antique Lions of Spirits - BirdsFettercairn 28 yo 1988 (50,6%, Antique Lions of Spirits ‘Bird label’ 2016, 292 btl.)

Nose: the first thing that springs to mind is this kind of effervescent vitamin C tablets, although this fades. Oranges. Cantaloupe. Overripe pineapple – a key element today? Also nutty notes and bit of leather. Rye bread. A little sunflower oil. Touches of ferns. Not entirely classic, but very interesting.

Mouth: sweet and spicy, some apple skin, and than flashes of beautiful apricot notes and herbal notes. Creamy but also zesty. Sweet lemons. Malons. Hints of chlorophyll.

Finish: medium long, still a sweet fruity side with slight grassy touches and ginger.

Fettercairn is not an obvious choice if you’re launching a premium range, but hey, it works. A little whacky around the edges, but unique. A brave selection. Around € 265.

Score: 88/100



Aha, this flight was more what I expected. I should probably have tried them all and then shuffle my notes. Scores roughly between 87 and 92 is a good start, I’d say. A high quality series.

Available from the three founders: Sansibar Whisky (DE), Whisky Antique (IT) and Lion’s Whisky (IT)