Imperial 1995 19-year-old

Bought: Whiskysite, Holland, 16th February 2015

86.6/100 – Whiskybase (average from 17 member votes)

Although demolished in 2013, the Imperial distillery was mothballed in 1998, so new bottlings are getting older and older each year, dating back to casks from the mid 1990s. I thought I’d discovered my bottle by Signatory in the Whisky Bible 2015 until I realised it was an 18yo distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2013. Mine was bottled in November 2014, long after the WB 2015 went into print. The two similar 18yo bottles Jim Murray reviews in his Bible get decent scores with 84.5/100 and 86/100 so I’m feeling hopeful that my 19yo is a quality dram. The 17 reviews on Whiskybase seem to think so as 86.6/100 is a very good score.

Buying this bottle of Imperial was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. Back in 2013 I could have bought a bottle of Littlemill, another closed distillery, for less than £100. Sadly, not now. You rarely see a new release of Littlemill from independent bottlers, and prices in auctions are going up and up. I didn’t want this to be the same with the Imperial so I started looking around for a bargain. I picked a bad time to look because there was a lull in the market and bottles of Imperial were hard to come by. So when a new batch appeared from Signatory, I pounced like a starving frog on a grasshopper. I’m just hoping (or even hopping) that this Imperial isn’t quite so crunchy! But, this year we should start seeing the youngest new Imperials being 20yo, and even more expensive, so I feel I’ve made a good purchase.

Bottle number 3 of 754.
Cask No’s 50157+50158

Imperial 19yo 70cl

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