1971 The Last Drop Vintage Blended Scotch 47.2%
<strong>Nose</strong>: If you can find a blend where the smoke has this perfect an effect, please point me to it. Somehow the delicate phenols possess a duel role acting as both ballast and, paradoxically, the more ethereal element as well. Sandwiched between is the handy work of the stunning grain: firm yet just about soft enough to have absorbed the complex oak-led vanillas. <strong>Taste</strong>: Silk… with a little itching powder. The delivery moulds into every crevice of the palate, but just as you settle there is a tingling of light spice. Weak ulmo honey heads the understated sugary parade, with a little Tunnock’s Teacake-style marshmallow helping to lay down the tannins as a little red liquorice and butterscotch formulate. <strong>Finish</strong>: Just so long and elegant, with a dull ache of phenol and tannin to occupy the faint spice. <strong>Balance</strong>: Even though I now know many of the people involved in the Last Drop, I am still not entirely sure how they keep doing it. Just how do they continue to unearth whiskies which are truly staggering; absolute marvels of their type? This one is astonishing because the grain used is just about faultless. And the peating levels can be found around about the perfect mark on the dial. Like an old Ballantine’s which has sat and waited in a cask over four decades to be discovered and tell its wonderful, spellbinding and never-ending tale. Just mesmerically beautiful. Whisky Bible 2017
Rich in colour, it has a distinct Amontillado hue with moderate beading. The first nose is slightly closed, almost indolent, but give it some time and warm aromas of dried figs and traces of almond will reward your patience. The nose keeps evolving and a hint of coffee appears quickly followed by candied orange. Once the moment arrives to taste it, the whisky has a wonderfully soft mouthfeel. Well balanced between sweet and dry, it has a classic old-fashioned smokiness; a discernible 70s blending style makes it a true relic of times past. The subtle flavours evolve and end in a slightly salty finish, with an almost ‘maritime’ quality.
On the nose, sweet honey and vanilla give way to tangy orange and lemon followed by warmer notes of stewed apple and toasted almonds. On the palate, there is a very pleasant fruity sweetness, again followed by a crisp orange and lemon tang and just a hint of freshly cut oak. A taste of chocolate orange and baked fruits with a lingering suggestion of orris root and smoke.
Powerful and complex nose of beeswax, orange peel and stewed orchard fruits, combined with brooding notes of muscovado sugar and baked pineapple. The palate is full, rich and mouth-coating. Not so noticeable on the nose, but there is a gentle smokiness in the mouth that marries perfectly with baked apple, cashew and chocolate. The finish is long and integrated with lingering wood smoke. Aug 2017, FINE+RARE