Invergordon 1973 42 Year (The Exclusive Malts)

Single Grain — Highlands, Scotland

4.0 out of 5 stars
Like Lee and Pranay, this review is not for the listed version of Invergordon, but for both the 9 year version from Battlehill and the 44 year version from Maltbarn. This is a double review so I apologize for the excessive length. First up is the 9 year: Stop number 37 on the SDT is Invergordon. Like the Girvan that I recently reviewed, this distillery only produces single grain whisky. I really don't have much info on this Highland distillery, but I'm relatively sure it's main purpose is to be used in blends as you can't really find official distillery bottlings. This 9 year old bottle comes from the independent bottlers from Battlehill. Bottled at a beefy 58% ABV, non chill filtered and natural color of a pale straw. There is an initial blast of alcohol on the nose, as is to be expected at this strength. It's very waxy, candle wax or paraffin wax. A fair amount of vanilla and grain (comes off as wheat but it could be another type of grain). Green oak and sawdust. Some honey and another hit of oak, but charred oak this time. At this point it took a turn for the worse and a very sour note emerged. Like sourdough bread. I decided to add a generous amount of water to see what would happen. More grain, oak and honey came out, but so did more of that sour note. Really off putting. The palate arrives hot with sharp oak. Underripe stone fruits like apricots and nectarines and some bitter grapes or bad grapenuts cereal. Some bitter chocolate and perhaps burnt coffee beans. The water brought out that sourdough bread in the palate as well. A weird soap like note came through as well. Not pleasant and it actually made me a little nauseous. The mouthfeel is hot, oily and mouthwatering. Actually a rather pleasant mouthfeel. A medium long finish that is sour with green oak I think I've gotten my point across that this stuff was not very good, at least not for my nose and tongue. Really unpleasant sour notes. Actually it reminded me of Craigellachie with how sour it was (I know most people rave about Craigellachie but I didn't care for it). I ended up dumping about half of the sample that Lee provided me with (sorry Lee). It was just not sitting well with me, and still isn't 30 minutes later. I can't see a time when I would buy or recommend this bottle. The initial nose and mouthfeel are the only redeeming qualities that I found. I'm giving it 2 stars and I thinks that's generous. Cheers Next up is the 44 year version: After the disaster that was the 9 year Invergordon from Battlehill that I had yesterday, I was glad to have another Invergordon to try. This go around involves a 44 year old single cask (ex bourbon) from the independent bottlers at Maltbarn. This was bottled in 1972, making it a full decade older than I am! This is the oldest whisky I've had to date. Bottled at 49% ABV, natural color of an orange amber and non chill filtered. The nose is full on bourbon, so much so that I can hardly detect anything scotch about it. After 44 years in an ex bourbon cask it's sort of to be expected though. A fairly strong mint note up front. Caramel and toffee with a little brown sugar and cinnamon. There is a grainy note, but more corn like than anything else. Some fresh red berries and a lovely oak note. Creamy vanilla custard, a little cocoa powder, cherries, toasted coconut and more vanilla. Really an enjoyable nose. Like the nose, the palate is very bourbon like. It arrives hot and a little peppery. Old oak, slightly bitter but not at all unpleasant. Mint and caramel. It reminds me of Buffalo Trace, with maybe some young Bowmore mixed in. It has a slight earthiness about it. Coconut and maybe even mango. Given its age, it has a surprising youthful zip to it. A little bit of graininess comes out eventually, but it integrates well. A full bodied mouthfeel that is hot at first, oily and mouthwatering. Medium length finish with oak, mint and bourbon. There is a slight metallic note that comes and goes on the finish. When it's there it's distracting, when it's not there it is very enjoyable. If I tasted this blind, you'd have a hard time trying to convince me that it's not a bourbon. I'd be interested to know where the cask was sourced, like I said it reminds me of Buffalo Trace. Invergordon has officially redeemed itself with this beautiful whisky. Thanks to Pranay for the bonus sample provided during this round of our Scottish distillery tour group. Cheers
  • Generously_Paul

    I don't know, that 9 year Invergordon was fairly putrid. I'd say it's a tie.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    Lee and I are competing this round for " sample most likely to get spat out". I think that piece of waste Girvan rum cask took the title