1964 North British 50 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1192853

Just outside of Edinburgh, in a south western district called Gorgie, sits the North British distillery; a joint venture owned by both Diageo and The Edrington Group. There since the 1880s, this site has long produced whisky for the Johnnie Walker, Cutty Sark, and Famous Grouse blends, but rarely is it bottled on its own. When we saw the chance to bottle a 50 year old grain whisky for a fraction of what malt prices run, we didn't hesitate. Distilled in 1964, this ethereal North British expression still has the remarkable sweetness of a youthful spirit, but with the texture, complexity, and deep, rich character of an aged expression. Unlike malt, the older grain whiskies don't necessarily get richer or denser, but rather quite savory with a subtle smoky character. The flavors meander from vanilla and caramel to dry herbs. It's a wild ride from beginning to end, but well worth the price of admission. With more 50 year old single malts well into the four-figure mark these days, $250 is a downright steal. We expect this cask to be the first to go.

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Price: $249.99
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By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/25/2015 | Send Email
Just think about what 50 years in a barrel does to a whisky. This was luckily coming from a large hogshead considering we got nearly 120 bottles out of the cask. With the amount of expected evaporation that means that possibly as much as 80% of this whisky evaporated over the course of its five decades of maturation. The resulting whisky is surprisingly light on its feet without a bitterness or a sense of being "too old." The nose is one of the closest to bourbon I've seen in Scotch. It reminds me of an old school wheater of the highest order. The exotic wood, deep vanilla, and melted brown sugar don't translate over to the palate, which is oily and surprisingly lifted. The creamy texture is what really takes over on the palate, framed by subtle sweet grain and a dark caramel note on the finish. More stupendously drinkable whisky that despite the high price remains an incredible value by any measure.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/3/2015 | Send Email
When was the last time we had 50 year old whisky at any price, let alone less than $1000? Grain whisky is just completely undervalued and appreciated at the moment, so we snapped up this cask of grain whisky for the price of a 20 year old single malt. It's still surprisingly soft and youthful despite five decades in wood, with creamy vanilla and plenty of fruit. The great part is the gift-ability: you can buy this for anyone and they'll love it. 50th b-days, anniversaries, go for it. This is universal stuff.

By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/26/2015 | Send Email
This is a very interesting exploration of older whiskey- a journey that often times ends in disappointment. Unlike brandy, whiskey will fall to pieces if left alone in the barrel for too long. It is a rare treat when a whiskey actually survives an aging process as long as this - this bottle is an experience. There are still some sweet notes in the middle, the ghost of a malty presence from many years ago, but the palate is dominated by dense chocolate and a big cedar nose. A long coffee essence is backed by cigar box and roasted nut flavors - this bottle is a rare experience for $250!

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Alcohol Content (%): 44.7