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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Knockando The Time Warp Again! Knockando 12 year old 1965 (OB) Justerini & Brooks Chandon Import

While I don't buy into most of the talk about distilleries' magical vintages (due to all of the variables involved in the creation of a single malt), these old official Knockandos do provide the potential for a more valid discussion.  Their barley was malted in the same place and the barrels matured in the same warehouse.  It's likely that the yeast remained the same and the fermentation and distillation times did as well.  While there are other factors at play, there should be wider interest amongst some of the whisky gods to do further studies on the Knockando floor-malting-era vintages.  While I am not a whisky god, I am going to drink some more Knockando...

Yesterday, I wrote about the birth of the Knockando single malts via Grand Metropolitan and Justerini & Brooks.  I also reviewed a very good 12 year old official Knockando from 1966.  And today, here is one from 1965.  As seen with its younger mate:

Thanks again to Cobo for the sample and the photo!  Thank you for the opportunity to match these two up at the same tasting.

Distillery: Knockando
Ownership at time of bottling: Grand Metropolitan (via Justerini & Brooks)
Importer: Chandon
Type: Single Malt
Region: Speyside (Central)
Age: 12 years
Distilled: 1965
Bottled: 1977
Maturation: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 43%

Its color is light gold, again.  This time the nose starts off with pineapple, lemon peel, green apples, and ginger tea.  There's a little bit of barley in here, salted caramels, and also some of the lemongrass I'd noticed in the 1966.  But it has a bit of an old-bottle-style moldy basement note too.  Some more oak slips in with time, but so does a tropical fruit note.  Ah, the palate has little bit of smoke to it, reminiscent of wood smoke, floating mid-ground.  There's confectioner's sugar, bubblegum, and a light bitterness up front.  It gets a little drier with time, picks up some lime and a simple sweet custard.  Slightly musty.  Pepper in the back of the throat.  The musty moldy basement note lingers into the finish.  I get an herbal bitterness at first, but then it becomes a little sweeter and more citric.  Hints of the bubblegum and confectioner's sugar.  It holds onto the (good) bitterness and tartness throughout.

A different whisky than the 1966.  The nose, while bolder, is less glamorous.  The palate is sweeter and smokier and the finish bitterer.  The musty note, absent from the '66, shows up in various places in the '65.  I happen to like that sort of thing, but others may not.

Overall, I like the '66 more with its lovely nose and lean sturdy palate.  But really if you find either of these, whether at an auction or some magical mysterious retailer, they'll probably be priced well considering their historical value. And they taste pretty good too, if you rightly choose to open the bottle.

Availability - Auctions
Pricing - not as expensive as most other distilleries from this era
Rating - 85