A new day in Bath, and a new whisky place to try. My wife and friends were kind and patient enough to wait for me to try out the Tasting Room, a Wine and Spirit distributor and small cafe/whisky shop.
Which honestly doesn’t do the selection justice, as it’s a hole in the wall with a bunch of odd selections. And a good bread plate.
So, in deciding what I would have, I decided I’d go for something from a distillery I haven’t had a lot from: Imperial.
Imperial Distillery has had a hard go at it. They may have just called the place Millhouse for all it’s bad luck. After years of being used in blends, generally being closed and open from surprise or morbid curiosity, and never having an official bottling (though there may be one; jury is out on that), they were finally slated to be demolished and turned into housing a decade ago.
So Diageo has the final stock, and let’s the IB raid it as they would. Today I’m review Imperial 18 year Signatory Cask Strength 1995. I chose this one because it seemed so alone, floundering the bottle, waiting for someone to finish it.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Distilled on: 21/08/1995
Bottled on: 23/10/2013
Cask type: Hogshead
Cask No: 50137
Bottle #: 93 of 277
Nose: Peach, grapefruit, pepper, basil, linen, pear
Light flavours on this one. It’s herbal and fruity, which is nice, though takes some time to step out of it’s own shadow.
Once it does the flavours are evident.
Taste: Pepper, peach, white cherry, cardamom, dry, apple
Very dry and again, fruity whisky. Like a Chardonnay that’s super oaked maybe. Or maybe I should leave the wine metaphors for people who know more about wine than I do.
Stronger than the nose, yet still has the same fruit/minor spice combination that I was hoping would evolve a little bit.
Finish: Caramel, strawberry, licorice, herbal, tobacco, coffee
And then the finish gives me a complex, interesting dram. Frankly the finish, as with a surprisingly high amount of whiskies I’ve been reviewing, is the best part.
I know: Life is so hard to me.
While I’m not a big tobacco fan, and find some punny jokes coming from finding them in a whisky called Imperial, it works here quite nicely.
Conclusion: Good news: Chivas Brothers are building a new distillery for Imperial. Here’s hoping it stays open more than 10 years this time.
Also good news: The finish saves this whisky from being just okay to actually being a tasty, nice summer dram.
So good news all around. If you can get past the simple nose, this whisky is worth it. And perhaps in the future we’ll have new Imperials to compare it to.
Scotch review #281, Speyside review #81, Whisky Network review #417