Krishna shared the distinctive feature of this whisky is it was produced using Lomond stills.
Founded in 1964, it was “closed” in 1981 with the Lomond stills removed from the Miltonduff Distillery. These stills were built in the 1960s with the idea of using the 3 adjustable rectifier plates to play around with “the position and temperature of the plates the reflux of the ‘boiling’ whisky could be controlled. The angle of the ‘lyne arm’ at the top of the still could be modified as well to influence the character of the whisky further.” (Malt Madness) The thinking was this would produce exactly what blenders needed and hence would be in demand.
However this innovation fell into disfavour as the maintenance and cleaning was very labour intensive. And more importantly, the demand from blenders did not come close to expectations… Hence while the distillery Miltonduff remains, you won’t find much Mosstowie single malt these days.
What did we find?
Mosstowie 35 year (30 November 1979/15 May 2015), Bourbon Barrel Cask Mo 25756, 48.1% (Signatory Vintage Cask Strength) 171 Bottles
- Nose – We were greeted initially with sweet varnish, then as that subsided, citrus creamy spice took over, some star anise, lots of oriental spices, sour cherry, cork, fermented sour dough starter, desiccated coconut, kopra, nuts… there was a ‘bourbonesque’ quality, with old wood furniture… one even suggested smelly socks!
- Palate – Lovely coating, wonderful mouth feel, a dash of salt and almost too much honey, yet settled into something both enjoyable and sufficiently complex to be interesting
- Finish – Dry, again a bit salty, very sweet, a bit of beeswax, muted but very much there
- Water – We found it dampened the nose, sweetened it even more, made it less multi-dimensional, only advantage was it gave the finish a nice spicy pick-up
We concluded this whisky had a very interesting complexity. A wee sample bottle of this made it home and was revisited a few weeks later. If anything, it was even more exceptional.
Believe it or not, a few years later, we plucked this out again for a revisit. What did we discover?
- Nose – Green fields of grass, pear, apple, floral… a bit musty, marigold and nasturtiums, caramel, salted toffee
- Palate – Wonderfully mature and well rounded on the palate, sweet and smooth
In discussing its character, we thought of a stylish lady, sporting a classic Chanel, like Jackie O or Audry Hepburn. Understated yet significant.
Tasting notes by the chaps at Master of Malt:
- Nose: Oily toffee, marmalade, vanilla, ginger and cocoa.
- Palate: Smoky wood spices and honeycomb with touches of menthol and kumquat.
- Finish: Malty and warming.
What else did we sample?
- Mortlach 37 year (1976/2013) 43% G&MP
- Lochside 24 year (1981/2005) 43% G&MP Old Rare Collection
- Aultmore 5 year (2007/2012) 66.8% Master of Malt
- Laphroaig “T5” 21 year (1987/2008) 53.4% – Bonus Dram!
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