Convalmore 32yo – Diageo Special Releases 2017

Convalmore 32 Feature

I’m not going to lie, after yesterday’s shenanigans with Port Dundas, this Convalmore has a lot to live up to. We’ve moved back to Speyside today, and to a distillery which still exists in body, but perhaps not spirit. Situated on the outskirts of William Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich/Balvenie/Kininvie complex, the remnants of Convalmore can still be seen, even if the warehouses are now used to mature Grant’s stock rather than Convalmore’s.

Convalmore was one of the original ‘Seven Stills of Dufftown’ along with Dufftown (obvs), Mortlach, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Glendullan and the-also-now-deceased Parkmore. It briefly flirted with ‘silent malt’, the term given to malt whisky produced in a column still, between 1910 and 1915 before reverting to traditional pot still distillation. Having been expanded and renovated in the 1970s, it closed in 1985 and was subsequently sold by owners DCL (hence its inclusion in the Special Releases) to William Grant & Sons.

We’ve seen Convalmore in the Special Releases before, with an expression having been bottled as a 36yo and included in the 2013 line up. This time around, we have a 1984 vintage, which has been matured in refill American oak hogsheads and bottled at 32 years old.

Convalmore 32yo
1984 Vintage
Diageo Special Releases 2017
3,972 bottles
48.2% ABV
£1,195 here

Nose: Waxed paper, waxy apples, candied pineapple, grated coconut and lemon oils to begin. There’s a touch of mint, some mineral notes, and a little virgin olive oil, along with a gentle assortment of herbal notes; camphor, caraway, tarragon and marjoram. There’s also some polished antique oak, slate, and a suggestion of smoke.

Palate: Unctuous; very waxy and fatty, with lemon zest, vanilla sponge, pink wafers, charred marshmallow, and white pepper. There’s some creamy white chocolate, banana fritters, smoked apples, pear skins, some herbal notes too, along with sandalwood, and a dry twig or two.

Finish: Long and silky, with white chocolate, dying embers and sweet oak.

Overall: Port Dun-who? This whisky more than matches yesterday’s exploits. The waxy, oily, fruity, herbal nature of this Convalmore is wonderful. It’s reminiscent of well-aged Clynelish, or, dare I say it, some batches of very, very, lightly peated Brora distilled in the year or two before it closed. I thought tomorrow and Friday were going to be special days, but we’ve had one today and it’s only Wednesday. Spectacular stuff.



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