70.41 - Orchard Beehives

29 years old, distilled 25th July 1990, 49.5% abv, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 165 bottles, dram price J

SMWS 70.41 - Orchard beehivesThe nose has warm honey, sliced red apples, linseed oil and hints of spring blossoms. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has icing sugar, red apples, fresh oak staves, crystallised ginger and hints of cedar wood. The finish has crystallised ginger, icing sugar and hints of spearmint.

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains tobacco leaves, beeswax and brioche bread and loses the linseed oil and blossoms. The body gains a soft pineapple note, tobacco leaves and a little cinnamon. The finish gains cinnamon.

A simply superb example of highland whisky, which rewarded exploration. Flawless in a technical sense, hauntingly beautiful (said Matt) in its flavours.

One for autumnal evenings.

Technical score: 5/5

Personal preference: I’d like more than one bottle.

This whisky was provided by the SMWS in a preview session - thanks to them for that. Full editorial control has been retained in the tasting process.