...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Bea's Birthday Booze: N.A.S. 30 year old Decadent Drinks

Deep within Signatory Vintage's Pitlochry warehouses, hidden in dark secret corners, casks filled with weird experiments await their freedom. We know this to be true now. Mr. Symington sold one of these mysteries to Mr. Sponge, who then bottled it for the (limited) world. I'll leave it to the Decadent Drinks site to describe their first N.A.S. (Notable Age Statement) release:
A single sherry butt of blended malt. This is vatted stock of numerous old Signatory cask samples and bottling run ends that was married and put into fresh sherry wood with a minimum age of 16 years old.

The composition is by now at least 30 years old, but contains within it many much, much older whiskies, many of which hail from closed distilleries and date back to the 1960s. We've bottled this butt at natural cask strength...

Despite all the raves written by Those Who Decide Things (TWDT), I had only moderate expectations for this vatting. TWDTs long for styles of whisky that are either extinct, or nigh on, so every hint of something resembling a whisky from another era causes tears to well in eyes and scores to find their way to 90+. The same thing happens here at Diving for Pearls, but my skepticism has calcified.

Yet I chose to drink it in honor of my younger daughter's birthday. Evidently, I'm an ass.

Bottler: Decadent Drinks (via Signatory Vintage)
Type: Blended (or Vatted) Malt
Distilleries: ???????
Age: at least 30 years
Maturation: sherry butt
Outturn: ??? bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 45.1%
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts off beefy and leathery up front, with Highland peat, flowers, and shoe polish notes just behind. Then there are peaches, yuzus, band-aids, metal antiques, and a whiff of black coffee. There's even a dollop of toffee pudding (like a certain whisky sponge?).

Soil and dead leaves all over the palate. One of the earthiest whiskies that has ever touched this face. Tobacco, burlap, dried herbs, and the righteous tartness of unsweetened yuzu juice fill the midground. A metallic OBE note drifts through the background.

It remains intensely earthy through the finish. Cigarettes and soot arrive next, followed by umami and dried herbs.


The nose is very good, but the palate wins me over. It's so earthy I've checked my glass twice to see if there's actual sediment present. Nope it's just the whisky. Mmmmmm, soil.

Even some very positive reviews described this 30yo as fragile, I find it quite the opposite. I've had enough low-ABV oldies (and newies) to know the feeling of a whisky that has gone delicate; this ain't it. Yeah, I wouldn't encourage adding water to this malt, but that's mostly because at full strength it's a bruiser, thick and powerful. What else ya got, Mr. Symington?

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 90

No comments:

Post a Comment