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INCHGOWER 27 YO (1976/2004, OB, RARE MALTS, 55,6%)

Amongst the many Speyside distilleries ‘forgotten’ by the market there’s surely Inchgower: official bottlings, at least in the last two decades, can be counted on a hand’s fingers, and Diageo doesn’t seem eager to change its plans… We must remember that most of the single malt produced by Scottish distilleries goes into blended whiskies, as the market’s proportions clearly state. Inchgower is part of Bell’s, Johnnie Walker and White Horse. We’re facing an Inchgower from the prestigious Rare Malts series by Diageo, highly collectable: but we don’t care, we fucking open bottles! It’s from 1976, and it was bottled in 2004, cask strength.

ingrm.1976N: mmm, wow! Are we sure we ain’t in Northern Highlands? There’s a deep smokiness – deep but gentle, you know what we mean? maybe not – and also unexpected, mineral and dust notes (when we read Serge writing about old books, we instantly agreed) and damp wood. Honey, tons of it. There’s also a very discreet sherried side, with notes of apple juice, red fruits (rasp- and strawberries), dried fruit and almonds. Cane sugar, caramel. Pears, maybe candied pears?, and a lot of malt. We’re hit by a note of… Campari, is that true? Very good, complex and with an unexpected profile.

P: still mineral notes stand intact, revealing clear but gentle peat notes, and also an olive oil hint. Also an epiphany of candied ginger (it’s kind of ‘spicy’). Then there’s an educated and elegant sweetness, on pears and apples, a slight hint of red fruit, of panna cotta… There are also almonds and walnuts, Pecans, and cereals (Kellog’s). Balsamic and mentholated notes too.

F: butter!!! Lingering even if not neverending, on buttery notes of pear and a balsamic note again. Almost herbal notes, malt, very clean.

We must confess, this was a surprise: very good and delicate, very mineral and herbal too, with fruity notes that almost hide the age of the spirit. Maybe on the nose the herbal side seems a little overpowering after a while, but we surely suggest a taste, if you happen to fin one open. 87/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Morcheeba – Trigger Hippie.

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