North British 1985 31 YO Cadenhead Small Batch Cask Strength, 55 %
North British is a massive grain distillery in Edinburgh. This behemoth is owned 50/50 by spirits big boys Diageo and Edrington. Grain whisky from North British find its way into many different blended whiskies, among others this include Johnnie Walker Black Label, J&B Rare, The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.
From time to time independent bottlers, like Cadenhead, will release small batches of North British Single Grain, like this bottle here. The North British 1985 31 YO Cadenhead Small Batch Cask Strength was distilled in 19985 and bottled in 2016. It was matured in two butts, and the total outturn was 556 bottles.
Nose: Lots of vanilla and marshmallows. Fresh, green apples and pears cut in thin slices and sprayed with a drizzle of hot caramel sauce. Hints of oak, white pepper and dust.
Taste: Creamy and full-bodied mouthfeel. Matches the nose exactly at first; the rich caramel sauce and the fresh apples and pears are here from the get go. A touch of spices linger in the back – white pepper mainly.
Finish: Medium to long finish. Remains big and almost buttery all the way. The caramel sauce morphs into something more akin to mild honey and toffee towards the end. A little oaky on the finish.
Comments: I really love an old, sweet and candy-like single grain. Hurrah!
Image from Master of Malt.