Behind the fifth window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Blair Athol 21 year-old batch 5, bottled at 51.5% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. Blair Athol is located approximately half-way on the A9 from Edinburgh to Inverness, and is the most visited distillery owned by Diageo. It is mostly used for Bell’s blend, with only one official bottling, a 12 year-old in the Flora & Fauna collection, a brief apparition sometimes in Diageo’s Special Releases, and a NAS exclusive to the distillery. While better known than Teaninich (see yesterday’s post), it has a way smaller capacity of production at about 2.8 million litres of pure alcohol per year. I could not find any website selling the Batch 5 of this Boutique-y’s Blair Athol unfortunately.
A nice deep copper colour. A swirl reveals fat heads that slowly evolve to legs that defy gravity, descending very slowly against the glass.
Coldorak: The initial nose is quite fruity, with orange, peach, passion fruits and red fruits. A floral and grassy side is also present, with mashed mint leafs and roses.
Ainulindalë: A citrusy (more orange than anything)/Mango thing on top of caramel with a sea side to it. This kind of saltiness always makes me think about Brittany, the wonders of memory. Behind it, some lilac and soft dunnage.
Coldorak: The arrival is very spicy on chilli-pepper and ginger, quite a bite from the alcohol though it’s “only” 51.5% abv. When the spices tone down, a touch of bitterness is revealed with grapefruit and very dark chocolate, some oak and a splash of coffee. The texture becomes a bit creamy over time, almost waxy after a long moment in the mouth. Following sips keep a spicy arrival but with a brief sweetness just before the spices come full on again. There may be hints of nuts and liquorice but hidden behind a huge wall of spices, they’re hard to find. After reduction, the spices are still quite present, but dark chocolate steps forward.
Ainulindalë: In the mouth at first dunnage and caramel and a slight vanilla side which then grows strongly to the fruits with a very pleasant semi oily texture. It then explodes in a cocktail of fruitiness, going tropical with mango and passion fruit.
Coldorak: Fruity with apple, liquorice and hints of oak, but not very long.
Ainulindalë: Very smooth finish, with a good length, like a bell curve after the fruit explosion and finishes quietly on orange and floral notes – my kind of dram.