Distilled 21.02.1975, bottled 05.08.2010, matured in an ex-bourbon cask with cask number 553.
It’s an open secret that Signatory’s Rare Ayrshire contains single malt from Ladyburn, but they are not allowed to state so on the label.
Nose: Shortbread, honey. With water I get tart apples and after a while vanilla and sherbet powder.
Palate: Fruity oak, maltiness. More apple pie with water.
Comments: Not bad at all, though less complex than I could wish for.
Nose: Citrus, bonfire, a lot of alchohol. With quite a bit of water I get more fruits; melon and sweet pears.
Palate: Cold smoke, lemon drops wrapped in waxed paper, oak. With water a warm spicyness develops, rather a lot of oaky bitterness and yeasty dough.
Comments: This has been left as a dreg for too long, unless my memory of what it used to be like betrays me. It needs quite a lot of water before it’s drinkable, and I guess it’s been matured in fairly inactive casks since the alchohol is still so obvious after 20 years. It has a lot going for it, but the bitterness on the palate is too overwhelming. I can’t remmeber it from before, so I suspect we must take this bottle as a sign that we really should have a spring clean (ok, a summer clean) in our whisky cabinet to make sure any dregs we want to keep are rebottled into sample bottles to minimise oxidation.
Nose: Dried fruits (apricots, cranberries), acetone and wood varnish, banana, vanilla and rosemary. Obvious alchohol at full strength. Water tones down the alchohol and brings out pine needles and menthol, milk chocolate and black pepper.
Palate: Menthol, acetone, dried apricots and ginger. With water I also get dried banana, a little oak and sauna – as well as orange peel on the finish.
Comments: It just doesn’t get much better than this. You could spend hours picking through the nose and flavour on this one. It demonstrates just why Rare Malts used to have such an impeccable reputation (though the last couple of years of Rare Malt releases did not seem to live up to it). A very clever purchase, if I may say so myself (it was a birthday present for Arve quite a few years ago).