Pittyvaich 15 1989 Old Malt Cask Douglas Laing

So I’m at Allen’s, a gastropub in Toronto known for a good selection of whiskies, on my birthday. And it’s time for my second whisky. Meaning that it’s time for my wife to pick one out.

So she picked something that was over $100 a dram, and my father (who was paying) vetoed it, because.. Holy damn people, I’m not a Vanderbilt over here.

After some back and forth, eventually we thought I hadn’t reviewed a Pittyvaich before, so she picked out Pittyvaich 15 1989 Old Malt Cask. Turns out I have, in fact, reviewed a Pittyvaich before, thus bringing me up to “redonculous” level of reviews at this point.

But that’s not a reason to be sad, it’s a reason to be happy. I mean, how often do you get to have a 15-year-old Pittyvaich that was bottled over a decade ago? Not as often as you’d think, what with the world not being at my beck and call and the aforementioned not being born into American royal family status.

So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: No longer available

Region: Speyside

Vintage: 02.1989

Bottled: 08.2004

Cask Type: Refill Hogshead

Cask Number: DL 1336

Number of Bottles: 363

Abv: 50%

Colour: 7.5Y 9/6

Nose: Lime soda, mineral, grapefruit, cream, sugar doughnut

Nice citrus, effervescent, and mineral. Goes a bit tart and creamy with water, and there’s this strong, simpler sugar/dough flavour going on.

Can be a bit of a surprise. Like the first time someone has a sorbet course and wonders why they are having ice cream in the middle of dinner and then starts screaming and freaking out that we’re all sheeple.

Only me? Guess you gotta go to more LSD dinner parties is all I’m saying.

Taste: Char, floral, butter, grapefruit, cinnamon apples

Think a smokey tea, but not a traditional one, more like one from one of those tea shops that are directed at white people who want a fruit smoothie in their tea instead. And don’t take that as me throwing shade: I love those tea drinks.

Water brings out more spice less char. So one of the fruity Chai tea ones instead. With apple that I can have in Autumn while wearing leggings that make my ass look great.

Finish: Mushroom, grapefruit, lemongrass, oak, molasses, white chocolate

Earthy finish, some acidity to balance that out, and then a lot of super sweet parts. The finish is all over the place and hard to mesh with the earthy funk aspects.

Conclusion: An interesting blend of sweet, charred, and earth elements. Sometimes it worked, in the case of the taste (though wasn’t too sophisticated) and sometimes it didn’t, like in the case of the finish.

Really what this dram comes down to is it’s unique and does what it’s going to do. It’s really sweet, it’s kinda earthy, it’s extremely citrus forward on the nose. If all of that seems like something you want, then it’s a no brainer. If, like me, you enjoy how things mesh at each stage, well you may not want a second dram of it.

I’m happy I had it because it means that Pittyvaich isn’t the blended whisky that it’s expected to be. I mean, it mostly is, but there’s always a chance for more to it, which I like, even if it ended up being all over the place.


Scotch review #1102, Speyside review #313, Whisky review #1707

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