Somehow it seems ten years have passed since I tried the last Maltman bottling. This family firm (Donald and Andrew Hart) based in Glasgow is certainly not unknown, it just doesn’t seem to cross my path often.
This expression includes single malts from eight distilleries: Pittyvaich (a closed distillery), Aberlour, Cardhu, Tomatin, Glenallachie, Aberfeldy, Bruichladdich and Caol Ila. Some of these distilleries are rarely seen in independent bottlings, so it’s definitely a nice recipe.
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 27 yo 1992 (42%, The Maltman 2020, refill sherry butt 702 btl.)
Nose: a nice surprise. There’s a dustiness and a waxiness that I associate with much older whiskies. Also mineral notes and old wood, as well as stewed apples and peaches, as well as dried pineapple slices. Yellow berries too. Then some vanilla comes out, with sultanas and dried meadow flowers.
Mouth: more intense than expected, and still really interesting. Slightly drier than the nose suggested, but there’s still a nice combination of peach, citrus and some raisins and dried apricots. Even a faint tropical edge, as well as a little beeswax. Then nutmeg and dried herbs, with an oaky touch and a hint of cocoa bitterness.
Finish: quite short and soft now, suffering from the low ABV. Some baking spice and lingering sherry hints.
If you were looking for evidence of blended whiskies that are more interesting than some of the single malts it contains: here you have it. This excellent surprise reminds me of some underproof whiskies that I’ve tried. They can be very interesting and aromatic, so if you add just enough higher strength whisky you can preserve the aromatic profile and still label it as Scotch whisky. Just a theory of course: bottom line is that it is interesting stuff and highly drinkable. Too bad it becomes a little thin in the end. I found a sample at Whiskysite.nl.