North of Scotland 1973 38-year-old

Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 20th January 2016

Ratings:
94.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
84/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)

‘North of Scotland’ was a grain distillery that opened in 1958, closed in 1980 and was dismantled in 1993. It was originally called Strathmore, which you have to admit is a lot nicer sounding than ‘North of Scotland’. Whoever changed its name must have failed their geography O-grade because the distillery was in Cambus, near Stirling, considerably closer to the lowlands than say Shetland, Orkney, or Inverness. which are properly in the north. It’s amazing that the distillery stayed open until 1980 because the staff must have been going to the wrong place!

It goes without saying that bottles from a distillery closed in 1980 are getting rarer and rarer, which makes it more collectable but also an interesting curiosity to drink. Is it any good? Thankfully my example is one of only two bottles listed in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016. Scoring 94.5/100 classifies this dram as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”. Mr Murray’s entire review consists of “fascinating how some grains, like the Cambus, head in a Canadian style of direction, while this is pure Kentucky. And superb Kentucky at that.”

84/100 on Whiskybase is from two votes so far but one voter’s scoring system considers 80 as ‘very nearly excellent’. Their review includes the tasting notes of “the very distinctive nose yields intense jelly beans, caramel and coconut. The full, fruity sweetness carries over from nose to palate, with a Bourbon-like note and bold cinnamon. Softly drying in the very long finish, with nutmeg and chilli.” Sounds delicious!

North of Scotland 1973 38yo 70cl

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