Deoch an Doras: Inverleven 1973

Inverleven 1973 Deoch an Doras

Deoch an Doras (meaning: ‘drink of the door’ or ‘one for the road’) is a new cask strength limited series of releases coming from some of the closed distilleries in the Chivas Brothers portfolio. First two to kick off the range are Glenugie 1977 and Inverleven 1973. The latter is standing patiently in the glass in front of me right now, waiting to be tasted. For the record, it is the first ever official bottling of Inverleven malt (and perhaps one of if not ‘the’ last).

Inverleven 1973 Deoch an Doras
Bottled 2010 (36yo)
48.85% ABV
£265 from here

Nose: Like a florist with sharp rosy and irisy overtones. Initially quite minty, mellows with time and reveals a bready/malty quality. Water brings out sweet red grapefruit but also quite dusty and heavy character. Add even more water and some vanilla and marzipan notes come out of hiding. With water or without, there is  a slight superglue thing going on there… or is it just me? Very oak driven, I am struggling to see the spirit behind it.

Palate: Definitely more fruit here, the grapefruit theme continues. Slight bitterness of banana peel and heaps of pencil. Takes water and time.

Finish: Medium to long, comes in waves, transforms.

Overall: This new series targets collectors, no question about that. Inverleven 1973 comes in a very neat bottle+case combo with a ribbon already tied around it (!), has lots of geeky information on it and no silly marketing blether on the back. And that’s all very well. Unfortunately 36 years of maturation weigh heavily on this delicate spirit and make it feel quite tired. Don’t get me wrong, it still packs the flavour and is great fun to drink but at £265 a bottle one expects a bit more from a drinking whisky. It is therefore one for the shelf rather than the cabinet. And I suppose I’m just not the shelf kind of guy.

Lucas

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