Duncan Taylor changed this for me.
Duncan Taylor is an independent bottler located in Huntly http://www.duncantaylor.com/
They always wanted their own distillery and thought they were gonna purchase Imperial. The deal went off in the last minute. My theory is that Duncan Taylor was so sure of the deal that they had stocked up on Imperial casks.
Whatever is the truth, the fact is that Duncan Taylor has released quite a lot of Imperials the last few years. In the Duncan Taylor series, the Whisky Galore series, the NC2 series and also from their shop Single Malts Direct : the Whiskies of Scotland series.
I've been trying quite a few of these and most have been good, the rest excellent. The first eyeopener was when I tasted an 8 year old Imperial bottled under DT's Battlehill range, and since then I have been aware that here is something to look out for.
I would describe these Imperials as "simple" whiskies. Classic whiskies. Ex-bourbon casked whiskies. No wines, no peat, no small casks. Just plain good whisky at a young age.
Imperial was mothballed by Allied Domecq in 1998 and when AD was acquired by Chivas in 2005 the deal with DT was mothballed together with the distillery.
1. Imperial 1997 13yo 56.4% Whisky Galore
Classic whisky nose, very ex-bourbon caskish :-), fresh and minty
Palate : Very minty, fullbodied and creamy, still very fresh
Finish : medium and very fresh, like a mint pastil
I like this. This is simple good whisky. It was correctly bottled at full strength. A nice dram.
and thanks to Mark Watt of Duncan Taylor for introducing this gem to me :-) . Imperial is great value for money whisky, lets get some while no one else knows about it :-)