White

1984 Convalmore 32 YO Special Releases 2017, 48.2%

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Average Score 92.0

Colour: pale gold. Nose: the wonderful self-restraint and beauty of these old-school Speysiders that never saw any sherry or any newish oak. Superb beeswax, olive and sunflower oils, verbena tea, menthol cigarettes (mum’s Kools), then assorted slightly overripe garden fruits, certainly apples and timid pears, an old bottle of linseed oil, rubbed grapefruit skins, a spoonful of honeydew, some gum arabic, and just a touch of natural rubber. I find this splendid, and so beautifully elegant and complex at the same time! And so un-modern… Mouth: awe… The most superb combination of herbal teas and soft fruit juices, on a waxy base. Some fresh mint for sure, verbena again, a touch of wormwood, honeysuckle tea, some pink grapefruits bringing the fruity contribution, and finally, a little bit of paraffin, going towards beeswax but not totally so. After three minutes, a few drops of cough syrup are starting to drip over it (eucalyptus, with hints of camphor). Finish: Comments: could this baby be the best within the bunch this year? I haven’t tried the Port Ellen yet at time of writing, but what’s sure is that this superb Convalmore is a strong contender. To think that Diageo managed to come up with four thousand bottles just like that… This is highly impressive! Oct 2017, www.whiskyfun.com
I’m told this is likely the last ever official bottling of Convalmore. Sad but inevitable I suppose. The previous two bottlings were both total beauties in my opinion and I’m a sucker for Convalmore so I have high hopes here... Colour: Light gold. Nose: A yes! A gentle unfurling of lemon oils, waxes, nuts, milk chocolate and dried mint leaf. The height of elegance and refinement, and a reminder of what great distillate in refill wood is capable of with sufficient time. There’s a flicker of ointment, some paraffin, an old tool shed, a horse stable and lanolin. There’s also a nervous sweetness to it like an old Sauternes. Goes on with honey, some rather luscious green fruits and a little shortbread. With water: A single preserved lemon, a more nervous waxiness and some leafy and slightly earthy but broadly farmy notes in the background. Also little touches of chamomile and hessian. Mouth: A wonderful splatter of waxes, honey, various oils, a thimble of peat, a grinding of green pepper, some hay, some cereal, a little dried herb garden. Gentle and undulating in its complexity and beauty. And upsettingly moreish. With water: a perfect balance between yellow flowers, green fruits, wax, farmyard, olive oil and pepper. An understudy Clynelish that brings its own type of beauty to the stage. Finish: Long and elegant. Twists and turns along a waxy and fruity path by way of herbs, pepper and a lingering whisper of medicine. Comments: I’m not sure there are many distillates other than Clynelish in Scotland today that would have this kind of character after a similar length of time in refill hogsheads. If this is one of the last bottlings of Convalmore then it’s a perfect wee swansong. The epitome of elegance and understated beauty in whisky. Oct 2017, www.whiskyfun.com

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