Day 2 revealed not only a closed distillery, but for my palate, a new one too. Never having coming across anything from this now silent distiller, I did wonder when and if I would be able to try some of their whiskies as it’s not necessarily a brand you come across that often. Thankfully for me, a top class Frenchman stepped in to help me out. Franck Debernardi (@LaCaveDeCobalt) from lacavecobalt.com is a top man who has proved to many of the #whiskyfabric that not only is he knowledgable, but also incredibly friendly and generous. A few months back Franck saw that I had mentioned that I wasn’t too fond of the Highland Park bottlings I had recently tried, and took it upon himself to send me a sample from a very nice bottle from his Highland Park collection; all without me mentioning anything. Generosity right there. I’m really glad that we met at this years Whisky Exchange Show and had a great time chatting over some exquisite Balvenie (that’s a story for another time!) This sample was from a special batch of goodies he handed over to me then.
Banff 21yo (1982) (57.1%)
N: Scrumptiously rich this one. Clean and full bodied. Switched between orchard fruits with grass to dark chocolate with hazelnuts. Quite a nutty quality overall actually. Going deeper into the glass brings block palate paints from primary school and a slight metallic note. Hints of citrus and warm spices, with the fresh oak and apples dominating towards the end. Still seems pretty delicate for 57%.
P: Huge hit of fruits upfront, nearly overwhelmingly so as it’s slightly aggressive. Sharp green apples and orange zest. Some strong maltiness here with lots of oak. Sultanas, coconut and lots of thick sherry. The spices really dominate after a while and give a real zingy quality. With water, the sharp fruits simmer down and brings some hay and freshly cut grass.
F: Long. Lingering wood, spices and a slight bitterness. On some sips, even a faint hint of smoke. Quite earthy actually. I found the finish less balanced than the general body here and it had quite a peppery and bitter finish.
Comments: Incredibly fruity, spicy and oaky. It’s always good to try different distilleries, especially closed ones and for my first try of Banff, it wasn’t a let down at all. I was impressed by the chameleon like character of the nose and the fullness of the palate, even if the fruits slightly overwhelmed me. It felt slightly younger than a 21yo due to its vibrant nature, but it’s always a pleasure to try whiskies distilled in the early 80s.
Thanks again goes to Franck.