We recently opened and tasted the 1.1 at our Pip Hills and The Flavour Revolution event at the Vaults. As part of the fun, we hosted a competition for members to try the legendary dram. Ten lucky winners were chosen at random and given the chance to sample the 1.1 before putting pen to paper to write some tasting notes of their own.
Date distilled: January 1975
Bottled: August 1983
Age: 8 years
Tommy Jørgensen, Denmark – “One More, Please!”
Is that Vintage Port?, sweet Xmas spices, muscovado sugar, dark fudge, dried figs, the room is overpowered with PX Sherry or fine Vintage Port, sweet pipe tobacco.
Dark chocolate, triple Espresso, liquorice, bitter and dry, like getting charcoal sediment from a Cask in the mouth when sipping (this time it’s great), then sweetness from a PX Butt.
Loooong espresso aftertastes, dryness on the tongue, again Vintage Port. “One more, please!”
Andrew Scott, Edinburgh – Deep Rich, & Dried Fruits
On opening we were first surprised at the dark mahogany colour as it came out the diminutive green bottle, it was very dark for an 8yo whisky. As the aroma rose up to us it was immediately clear that we had a ‘Deep, Rich and Dried Fruits’ whisky, but further exploration would be needed to determine which fruits were present.
On nosing the first thought was raisins, but not just in a packet, rather drying naturally outside with a warm dryness to the air in a gentle meadow scented breeze. This was followed by a buttery smoothness, eventually identified as the toffee layer from millionaire’s shortbread.
The unreduced tasting was a little overpowering, but fully developed, definitely not ‘put it back in the cask’ like some young whiskeys can be. But it was hard to pick out much beyond the general fruitiness that spread warmly around the mouth.
This was possibly my most paranoid reduction ever, if there is ever a glass of whisky not to add too much water too, this was it! The first 6 drops of water didn’t change much and we timidly added another 3, and suddenly the nose expanded, becoming lighter, more expansive and relaxed. It turned from the deep dark raisins to a lighter note of dried apples and the smell of sawed apple wood, and some light touches of vanilla started to make itself felt.
The reduced taste was much more approachable, washing around all kinds of lovely warm fruit pudding tastes. Primary of these however was apple crumble, or possibly cooking apples stewed with Demerara sugar that have been left in the oven too long and collapsed into a sweet apple sauce.
What really surprised us was that it very clearly was still a whisky society whisky. The bottles have changed over the years, the labels change reasonably frequently, or have special editions, where we can get a society dram evolves over time, and the people visiting come and go (mostly come!), but what was in that very first bottle would still pass a tasting panel now.
Chris, Stuttgart, Germany – Deep Rich, & Dried Fruits
On Nosing – 10:
Maple syrup, dates, raisins, sherry, brandy, salted caramel, roasted almonds, balsamic glaze, After Eight, polished wood, cigar box and cinnamon
On Tasting – 9.5:
Honeycomb, raisings, blood oranges, rum truffles, burnt toffee, prunes, dark chocolate
Overall score: 9
Heavy, complex and addictive nose pairs historic sherry bomb!
Gregor from Kiel, Germany
On Nosing – 10:
Caramel, oak, prunes, dates, raisin, almond, milk chocolate
After warming the glass with the hand: fresh roasted Espresso beans, dark chocolate, syrup, herbs
On tasting – 8:
Plum, dates, oak, syrup, herbs, dark chocolate
Overall score: 9
– Deep and complex
– Wonderful cask
– Too many impressions to tell!
Sam from London
I took the sample with me to 19 Greville Street and sampled it there last Monday night. I gave everyone at the bar including the staff a chance to nose it and we all agreed that for its age it was stunning. Loads of fruits apples and plums were noted.
However for taste was left to me. Simply an amazing dram! I could still taste the sweetness hours later.
It’s moments like this that are the reason for joining SMWS.
Oliver from Germany – Spicy & Dry
On nosing – 8:
Sherry, sherry, sherry :). Rich raisins, stewed plums and a touch of spice
On tasting – 9:
Jam tarts, dried fruits, even some peppered strawberries
It was a pleasure to taste this legendary dram.
I shared this with my son. Mead, then medicine, then eternity.
This is one you live for. Happy to have it.
Have we piqued your curiosity?
While the 1.1 is no more, there’s no reason why you can’t host a home tasting of your own and discover your own legendary drams. Make sure to download our Home Tasting Kit – it has everything you need to get started.