The time....1964, I was six years old, one year into infant school, and in a world where everything was big! At some point in that year, in Girvan, a million miles away, a world away from my classroom, away from Miss Tivenan (my "big" red-curly haired, scary teacher), away from the from the vast playing fields that surrounded us, away from my Dad's huge arms as he collected me from school,
.....away from the sweet shops with their mammoth collections of jars containing Rhubarb & Custards, Barratts shrimps, Sweet tobacco, white mice, Refreshers and gobstoppers that did just that ...stopped your gob,
.....away from the two huge breweries that dominated our town with their weekly eruptions of malt/hop aromas...
.....the foundations of something big were being introduced to their home for the next 48 years.....
Nose: None of the seductive elusiveness that I've come to associate with grain whiskies. For me, much of the reward of grains lies in the delightful struggle to unlock their secrets - there's none of that here! Big sherry, bold fruits, jumbo raisins, ballsy bananas, all softened with a leathery sweet mustiness. There's oak in there but it's as though the cask has adopted a light touch, cradling, nurturing, allowing the liquid to evolve, to assert itself, to become......big.
Palate: Fuck me that's gorgeous! An initial fire slowly fades to a warming, languorous, smoulder. The fruits remain but other "hidden delights" begin to emerge. There's orange and mint, and a "rum like" element (but rum this is most definitely not). Dark "bonfire" treacle with hints of lighter caramel, a spiciness that, as you might expect, softens a little with the addition of a few drops of water...it’s a swirling, Jackson Pollock of a whisky.
Finish: Long, spicy...this dram was 48 years in the making and, if I'm not careful, 48 hours in the drinking.
Overall impression: What can I say? I love it. If there are any “grain snobs” out there, stay out there! The less people that are in the know, the more there is for us. Seriously, if you can, treat yourself. It works out at just over £5 a shot...that can’t be bad can it?
Available at http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-18820.aspx