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Subtle, sweet and spicy Speyside single malt from closed distillery Convalmore. Predominant notes are all from the bakery: buttery pastry cases, green fruits and a little citrus, followed by intense brown sugar sweetness and spice. A characterful and well-balanced example of this little-known distillery’s style, long-aged in refill American oak hogsheads.
Convalmore was opened in 1894 just outside Dufftown, and closed for the final time in 1985 – a year after this whisky was distilled.Tasting Notes (2)
Tasting notes by Billy Abbott (The Whisky Exchange)
Waxed apples and blanched almonds start, with mixed nuts jumping in with a squeeze of lemon. Zesty and floral touches sit on top with umami richness lying beneath. Water drops in orchard fruit, floral notes and a touch of acidity.
Really soft to start, with salty touches and lots of nutty notes: peanuts and creamy almond milk. Sweet candy necklaces follow with sweet-and-sour candied lemon peel. Water adds layers of creaminess and a hint of bitter barrel char.
Sweet cream and oily lemon zest. Char at the end.
The nuttiness surprised me, but works really well with the classic cream-and-apple character.
Tasting notes from the producer
18 carat gold.
A mellow base aroma, soft and sweet, like a buttery pastry case, lightly dusted with nutmeg ready for a custard filling, or perhaps almond oil and oak shavings. Above this, there’s a fruity filling of gently sour apples, spiced pears and ripe melon, orange peel too, before an intense brown sugar sweetness builds. The spicy notes continue to develop, with clove and cinnamon-laced biscuits balanced by candied lemon, more sharp apple and an underlying green herbiness. A drop of water introduces a waxy note and suppresses the fruity elements.
Light to medium. Smooth textured.
Smooth, sweet and fruity, with a trace of crisp acidity and oak spice to balance the sweetness before it can cloy. The apples and pastry on the nose persist, now caramelized and bitter-sweet, as part of the fruity centre palate. With a splash of water the taste becomes lightly sweeter, while light acidity again steps in to reveal more complexity. The fruit is savoury; light floral notes appear; the oak picks up char; the spice is toasted and fragrant.
Warming, spicy and lingering, with liquorice that fades to stewed, baked and fresh-sliced apples and warming oak that persists in closing, bitter-sweet flavours.
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