A head-to-head comparison of two old grains from Invergordon, distilled in 1972 and 1973 and bottled by The Whisky Agency and Sansibar.
Invergordon 44 yo 1972 (49%, The Whisky Agency for La Maison du Whisky 2017)
Nose: oily, with lots of furniture polish and varnished wood. Menthol and aniseed. Plenty of vanilla cake, sweetened condensed milk, dried coconut and hints of straw. Hints of caramelly bourbon whiskey. Subtle grapefruit and spices. Quite a nice, finely tuned profile.
Mouth: light but creamy, on honey and herbal notes (sage), as well as the classic coconut / pineapple combination. Some mango custard. Delicate pepper and mint. Leather.
Finish: medium long, leathery, with sour fruits, cinnamon cake and soft herbs.
Not the most complex grain whisky, but the combination of coconut and varnished / mentholated oak is pretty great. The gentle character of the whole is nice. Expensive though: € 285 from LMdW (now € 240 apparently).
Invergordon 43 yo 1973 (51,8%, Sansibar 2016, bourbon cask, 241 btl.)
Nose: a bit less vanilla cake, and certainly more oomph as well. That also means more fresh oak shavings and grass. Hints of praline and latte, hints of tobacco. Butterscotch. The biggest difference would be the level of oakiness though.
Mouth: more oak means a little less jammy fruits in this case, alongside more spices. Pineapple, cinnamon, pancakes with maple syrup or honey. Pencil shavings. Hints of roasted (pea)nuts. A rummy note as well.
Finish: medium long, nuttier and grainier.
This one feels younger, a little less gentle and more influenced by the wood. More punch can work out well, but in this case the added woody notes make it slightly less special than the TWA bottling. Around € 220, still available.