These 3 Diageo annual releases at 349,- danish kroners, just slightly more than the average 12yo OB standard bottlings, so all the whiskyentusiasts were queueing up. So how are these whiskies from 3 distilleries that's very hard to find whisky from?
1. Pittyvaich 20yo 57.5% distilled 1989
Pittyvaich was a very shortlived distillery. It was located in Dufftown, just above Dufftown the distillery and only operated from 1975 to 1993
Nose: fresh cabbage style vegetables and cocoa
Palate: Cocoa beans, musty and vegetables again.
Finish medium-long with some vanilla, honey and banana kicking in.
Comments : reminds me of Scapa and somehow how I remember the few Pittyvaich's I tried before. Not floral or fruity in any particular way. This whisky will benefit from the bottle being open, this even tastes better doing the second round today.
2. Auchroisk 20yo 58.1%
"Matured in american and european oak casks"
Auchroisk is a nice distillery build in a gothic-like style
Nose: Vanilla and pear dessert
Palate: Apple, vanilla, dessert
Finish: Shortish with faint vanilla-elderflowers (!)
A light and enjoyable dram, but somehow anonymous. I think this will benefit from being opened a bit. Mind you, I am reviewing these 3 on the day of purchase.
3. Benrinnes 23yo 58.8%
"Matured in sherry wood"
Buddha and Benrinnes
Nose : One of those noses that gives you associations of being in a warehouse! Heavily sherried and lightly sulphured
Palate : A light bodied whisky fighting the heavy sherry influence. An archtype sherried whisky, nutty and malty and plenty of standard sherrycasked whisky notes of dried fruits. No licorise
Comment: Again I have this feeling this will benefit when being opened. The sulphur will probably go away or diminish. I really like the warehouse feeling of this whisky
A world release of approx 6000 bottles each, these three never caught a lot of frenzy until locally here, when they suddenly came out heavily discounted at around 41-42£ a bottle which is a bargain compared to the 120-175£ these retail for in UK. 750-850 bottles each selling in DK which is a substantial percentage of the total bottle amount when you take the size of our country into perspective.
These bottling doesn't hold the usual standard of the Diageo annual releases. Maybe there's a reason Pittyvaich is closed and we don't see the other two distilleries bottled usually. I had some good Benrinnes before, but it has never been a distillery that gives me high expectations. I actually dislike the Benrinnes Flora Fauna bottling. And from the Pittyvaichs and Auchroisks I tasted before I didn't have any expectations at all, with the FF's being very anonymous bottlings. Pittyvaichs are usually slightly better and Auchroisk too hard to find. Maybe these distilleries isn't better or maybe Diageo should just hire me to select casks :-)
The discount is justified, I consider Auchroisk and Benrinnes bargains still. Should have been priced in the 60-70£ range originally, mind you, they are not even single casks but bottled in the same numbers as Icons of Arran is.
PS I will post about the development of these bottling in a month or two..