The yearly Spirits in the Sky festival in Brussels is cancelled (of course). It is (partly) replaced by a Spirits in the Box event with Zoom sessions and sample packs. For this occasion The Nectar of the Daily Drams has a couple of new bottlings, including this Blair Athol 1988.
Blair Athol is the key single malt in the Bell’s blend, but you’ll rarely see it on its own.
Blair Athol 31 yo 1988 (47,7%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams 2020)
Nose: some slightly tart fruits at first (orange or rather calamansi, plums and gooseberries), gradually growing warmer, with beeswax and nice mango. Also some honey and hints of Panettone. Lime blossom. In the background there are characterful hints of dusty books, shoe polish and herbs. Pretty complex.
Mouth: a similar bright fruitiness, in between greengages and nectarine but with light hints of passion fruit jelly and pink grapefruit. There’s something Irish about it now. Then orange zests, light peppery oak, hints of liquorice and subtle resin.
Finish: medium, still fresh and fruity, now with some leathery / leafy notes as well.
Not for beginners, I would say, as it’s never loud or easy, but it really grew on me. Good spirit, refill oak (I suppose) and a bit of luck. Around € 300, still available in a few Belgian shops. Also available from The Whisky Exchange.