Updated: Mar 2
Blended Scotch Malt Whisky (NAS) - Limited edition
In the past, the city of Perth or "The Fair City", was the whisky blending capital of the world, and over time, it became forgotten. In 2013 Morrison Scotch Whisky Distillers purchased the Old Perth brand from Whyte & Mackay, and production started again.
The Old Perth brand epitomises the sole use of sherry casks, and this latest Pedro Ximenez release at cask strength really shouts that fact in your face. Very loudly.
Whisky producers are releasing a lot of liquid at the moment, and prices seem to be going up and up and up. What Morrison Scotch Whisky Distillers have effectively done here is politely stick two fingers up at many well known names and released a super-quality product at an utterly affordable price. And for that, I can only doff my hat and say "thank you"
This new bottle release is coming in at just 2.4% ABV lower than its brethren the "Old Perth Cask Strength" - so it's another hard hitting, higher strength whisky to get your chops around.
It also retails at around £55 – so it's like stepping back a decade on the price-front.
Appearance: Dark mahogany with thick & viscous oily legs.
Nose: From the get go, huge wafts of sweet & thick sherry rise out of the glass. It's quickly followed by notes of soft raisins, fruit compote, roasted nuts, and sherry trifle. Some secondary aromas now arrive such as ginger nut biscuits, cake spice, slightly soured wine, and bread dough. The higher ABV doesn't cause any alarm to my schnoz, as it's so well integrated.
Palate: There's a huge influence from the sherry on the spirit here, and for any diabetics reading this review, get your insulin at the ready. Sweetness with creamy caramel coat the mouth with a mixture of peppered raisin juice, stewed fruit, prune juice, decent quality chocolate, and roasted nuts. The pleasant peppery crackle from the higher strength, coupled with the sweetness dance around, giving the tongue a lovely flavourome massage.
Finish: Long and ridiculously lingering, with bags of well integrated Pedro Ximenez sherry-sweetness. The higher ABV is so well integrated that it doesn't dominate the whisky, and delivers enough warmth for it to remind you that it's more of a hard hitter than many of those 40-percenters. So be careful. Ripe fruit and more sherry-sweetness stay in the mouth for an age.
Creamier, with a more toffee-forward character on the nose. Thicker & richer emphasis of milk chocolate & fruity caramel on the palate. The pepper-warmth is notched down to a gentle glow on the tongue.
In short, it takes a drop of water beautifully.
Conclusion: For around £55 a bottle (at the time of writing this review), this is one astoundingly good whisky. The flavour to price ratio is off the scale, and again, it's proven that the company behind blending this whisky really know what they are doing. I suspect there may be a few awards coming their way with this...
Read more about the Old Perth whisky range here
My other reviews on Old Perth releases can be found here
A nice article on the history of the Perthshire whisky industry can be read here