Goldfinch Blair Athol 14yo Tawny Port Pipe & Goldfinch Blair Athol 14yo Marsala Pipe


We’re looking at a new independent bottler today, Goldfinch.

Goldfinch Blair Athol 14yo Tawny Port Pipe

Region: Highlands

ABV: 52.0%

Price: £85.00

This bottling is part of the Goldfinch – Wine Series. A set of 5 single casks, containing 14 year old Blair Athol that has been additionally matured in different wine casks. In this case for 18 months in a First Fill Tawny Port Pipe.

Nose

We're finding an initial butteriness, following into freshly kneaded bread dough, There's some stewed apples and pears, reminding us of the filling from a turnover pastry. Going back after some air we're finding aged balsamic vinegar, fruit pastels and a slight oxidised funk (that seems to disappear if you swirl the glass each time you go to nose it). It has reasonable alcohol balance, melding into some oak and almond towards the latter part of the nose.

Palate

The palate begins with more of the yeasty bread dough notes we got on the nose, with honey pickles, marzipan, a little maple syrup and blackcurrants. We're getting a fair amount of maltiness coming through, and this seems to battle somewhat with the fruitier notes from the port cask. We're also getting a fair bit of Szechuan pepper spice and fresh raspberries as we move into the good length finish. As we let it linger, we're also getting some flavours that remind us of mulled wine.

Nose (with water)

Cherry Bakewell, buttery shortbread, lemon cake without too much sugar. We're still finding it to be very yeast forward, but the longer you spend with your nose in the glass, the more fruity and vanilla aromas start to appear.

Palate (with water)

Water reduces some of the upfront spice, bringing out richer flavours of oak, blackcurrants and the aforementioned aged balsamic with a teaspoon of sugar added in. We're getting more dark fruits, better balance of alcohol and it's maintaining the good length finish. We'd recommend adding a splash of water.

Conclusion

There's a cornucopia of flavours and aromas in this dram, it's one that keeps you coming back to looking for something you missed before. Saying that, it does feel a little disjointed in places, and there's an overriding bready, yeasty note that feels out of place. It's likely one of those drams that some will love and some will.. not love as much. For us it’s a 6/10.

Score: 6/10


Goldfinch Blair Athol 14yo Marsala Pipe

Region: Highlands

ABV: 52.0%

Price: £85.00

This is the third release The Goldfinch – Wine Series and has been finished for 18 months in a First Fill Marsala Pipe.

Nose

We're met with dusty wardrobes, pain au chocolat, butterscotch, freshly scraped vanilla pods and set toffee. There's a nice sweetness coming through alongside toasted hazelnuts and barley sugars. There are a lot of very pleasant aromas coming through, but it's a bit of a restrained nose overall.

Palate

The palate begins with dark chocolate, barley sugars, black pepper spice and hints of spent coffee grounds. It reminds us of a well balanced mocha, including the milky mouthfeel. We're also finding a little strawberry preserve, toasted coconut and flaky filo pastry. The whisky has a good length finish showcasing lime peel and dry oak.

Nose (with water)

A sour note has appeared that reminds us of pickled walnuts. We're also picking up some tart red and black berries. The notes of chocolate and pastry are still present, but we can't help feeling that water hasn't particularly helped here.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate comes with a woodier, slightly bitter flavour. There's a good balance of barley sugar sweetness still kicking around, but overall we'd avoid adding water.

Conclusion

It's a rich mixture of coffee and chocolate, with some supporting vanilla and nutty flavours/aromas. It does feel a little tight on the nose, and a little dry on the palate, but overall it’s an inoffensive dram. We'll give it a 6.5/10.

Score: 6.5/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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