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Old Ballantruan, Single Malt (Scotland)
Old Ballantruan is Angus Dundee Distillers heavily-peated expression of their Tomintoul single malt. The Ballantruan Spring provides process water for the remote distillery, which is located in the parish of Glenlivet and first came on stream in 1965. This is an unaged whisky which has not been subjected to chill-filtration and is offered at 50.0%ABV “in order to retain its layered and integrated peaty flavours,” according to Angus Dundee. Old Ballantruan is characterised by gentle peat smoke on the nose, followed by emerging floral notes. Comparatively uncomplicated on the palate, the initial sensation of peat is soon accompanied by malt and nuts, but the peatreek always predominates. The finish is very long, and turns into something close to cigarette ash towards the end. The nearest you’ll get to having a cigarette in a Scottish bar these days! Lacking the big, beefy body and maritime elements of the Kildalton Islays, Old Ballantruan is an excellent example of how seemingly unlikely mainland malts can be given the smoke treatment and thrive, offering an interesting alternative for ‘peat freaks.’ 50.0% ABV, 70cl, £26.50, specialist whisky merchants.

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