Review 646: North British 1992 23 Year

North British 1992Time to write about this North British Bottled by Càrn Mòr as part of their “Celebration of the Cask Black Gold” series. I’m always happy to have an older Single Grain in my glass and especially if it’s, like this one, matured in a sherry cask.
I bought this bottle together with 6 friends to ease the pain of the steep price for this bottle. That left each of us with a 10cl sample.

Lets find out how this one performs in my glass.

What they write about it:

Rare events by definition are witnessed infrequently. A Celebration of the Cask Black Gold bottling is such an event.

Only bottled from the darkest sherry casks, Black Gold highlights the wonderful marriage of the finest malts of Scotland with the best casks of Jerez de la Frontera The unique phenomenon of Sherry Cask maturation!

Destilleerderij:North British Distillery
Plaats:Gorgie, Edinburgh
Eigenaar:Lothian Distillers Ltd
Water Bron:Onbekend
Aantal Stills:3 Coffey Stills
Capaciteit:+/-64.000.000 Liter alcohol per jaar

Expression:North British 1992
Category:Single Grain
Bottled by:Càrn Mòr - Celebration of the Cask Black Gold
Age:23 Year
ABV (% Alc):58.3%
Non-chill filtered:Yes
Natural colour:Yes
Phenols (smoke):+/- 0 ppm on barley
Distillation date:25-08-1992
Bottle date:15-07-2016
Maturation:Sherry Hogshead
Cask number:41991
Bottle number:168 bottles
Bottle content:70cl


A rich, elegant, full and well balanced whisky with aromas of lush high quality sherry, rich oak, solvent tones, varnish, furniture polish, rosewood, spices (white pepper, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and subtle clove), maple syrup, damp cellar, musty tones, earthy, bitter tea, dried flowers, subtle sulphur, brown sugar, heather honey, dark vanilla, dried fruits (cherry, figs, dates, apricots, sultanas), treacle, wax, sweet cigar tobacco, mocha coffee, boiled candy (mostly pear drops), bitter orange marmalade, blackberries, elderberries, fresh pie crust, leather (old leather chair), herbs (bouquet garni), roasted brazil nuts, beeswax and old dry oak.

A powerful, rich, full, complex and well balanced whisky with aromas of dry bitter oak, old dark sherry (more Amontillado than Oloroso or PX), solvent tones, big hit of tannins, white pepper, precious wood (well a better description would be: liquefied cask, but in a good way 🙂 ), earthy tones, damp cellar, spices (all spice, cinnamon, clove, ginger and more pepper), old bitter tea, leather, espresso, bitter chocolate (the 85% and above kind), bitter orange marmalade, grapefruit peels, metallic tones (like fresh polished copper), molasses, subtle sulphur, antique polish, dried fruits (apricots, cherry, dates, figs, sultanas), dried flowers, hint of fresh berries and more (much more) dry bitter oaky loveliness.

A long, rich, bitter and dry finish with aromas of bitter oak, tannins, dark sherry, bitter chocolate, molasses, espresso, dark tea, leather, tobacco, bitter orange marmalade, subtle sweetness and long lasting bitternes of precious woods (mostly oak and rosewood).

Yet again, for me the conclusion is quite simple (in contrast to this whisky): this is how a Single Grain should taste! What a lovely dram!
I have to note that this will not please everyone. The intense bitter wood tones may, for some people, be off putting. But for me this liquified cask is mesmerizingly good.
It needs quite some time and warmth to fully open it up to reveal all it’s aromas. But give it time and your patience will be well rewarded.
What a ride!!
Compliments go out to the guys form Morrison & MacKay for selecting this superb cask and the treasure it holds!! (and botteling it of course!!)

What are your thoughts on the liquid in this bottle?