The days when Lowlands with soft mineral notes, lovely citrus, and a great selection of nice drams to have before a tastings are behind us.
However, for those of us who love that style, all is not lost. There are still some distilleries making that profile, and not all of them are in the Lowlands. Older Ardmore can be floral, lovely Glenturret can be floral, and the odd Mosstowie pops up.
Back to the Lowlands though: The other part of the equation is some Lowland distilleries make single grain whiskies, which notoriously need nice casks or a few decades to match the flavour intensity of single malts.
Enter North British 7 2007 Signatory Vintage Collection – Cask Strength: Young single grain from North British bottled for Binny’s in the US. Nothing about this screams “drink me” to me. I’ve railed against single grains from my old country when they are young: Why would I grab one otherwise?
However, my buddy /u/ScotchGuyTO convinced me to stop being so closed-minded and trust him on this one. So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Couldn’t find the original price, I apologize
Cask Type: Bourbon barrel
Cask number 321013
Number of bottles: 238
Colour: 7.5Y 9/8
Nose: Soap, butterscotch, plum, grapefruit
Immediate soap. Just right off the bat that strong, floral, pop in the mouth when I was too young and swore just as much as I do now. Sweet, fruity, acidic, and rich. Water brings out more of those things. Nothing complex here, just a ton of scented candle area.
Taste: Lemon juice, caramel, floral, Smarties (Canadian ones, not those Garbage candies from the US), butter
Acidic, luckily no soap. Well… there are some floral/chocolate notes with butter, that could come across as soap. But not tons of soap.
Lots of caramel and straight lemon juice, some butter. Reminds me of a Canadian whisky, if it was on meth a bit.
Finish: Lime, floral, corn, grassy, gravel
And more of the same. A rough earth note develops with water. Gets some cereal, more rough notes, but I keep coming back for the Lowland profile. Because I’m addicted.
Conclusion: This tastes like someone made Canadian whisky and aged it in a Soap cask. Floral notes all around, lots of lemon/lime notes, nothing too complex but it’s not bad. Frankly didn’t expect to like this at all. Yes, there’re rough spots. Lots of them. But it kinda worked.
If you don’t like floral notes, stay away on this one. If you’re hoping for something wacky from a single grain, that’s not here either. This is a strong, light starter whisky. Not just because it’s like lighter fluid either.
Odd, different, could drink in the summertime but I know there are better Lowlands out there. Hopefully, the next North British has some decades on it.
Scotch review #1206, Lowland review #48, Whisky Network review #1852