SMWS Tasting Notes
This distillery was originally a flax mill standing at the mouth of the river South Esk at Montrose. It was converted in 1898, bought by the enterprising Joseph Hobbes forty years later (who converted it to giant whisky production) and sold to DCL in the 1950s (who converted it back to malt whisky production). It closed in 1980. This venerable example of its make has matured well, without the woody notes one often encounters in very old whisky. The colour is pale amber, indicating a not-too-active U.S. cask (a good thing at this age); the first nose is slightly prickly, with angelica, crystallised ginger and other glace fruits bound together with a trace of cake mix and sherry, with a whiff of smoke behind. Water develops the latter into old creosote - a weather-beaten garden shed in the sun, dried fruit (dates in the foreground), fudge and Carob chocolate. The flavour is smooth, soft and full, with an interesting saltiness. An unusual, highly complex and very rare old whisky.