Review #412. North British 50yr Grain

Review #412 | /r/Scotch Review # 161- North British Distillery 50yo Grain Whiskey

Not many people have heard of North British distillery. It is Edinburgh’s last working distillery and employs roughly 1500 employees. Over the years, product has changed based on the needs of the industry and NB now notably also produces grain distillate for Smirnoff vodka. In the past, it has serviced many of the big blends like Grouse, Walker and Cutty.


The Schtick: This is a 50 year old grain whiskey from North British distillery, bottled at cask strength.

Distiller: North British

Bottler: Sovereign (IB)

ABV: 44.7% ABV | 89.4pf

Age: 50 Years

Source: /r/scotchswap sample


Nose: Honey, some cake. Caramel, some faint oak. Some coffee notes. It’s oddly muted, with only some sweet, bready notes coming through in force.

Taste: Thin, but sweet and no heat. Caramel, vanilla, some astringency and tannins. Odd plastic note couples with some big vanilla notes and a faint hint of smoke. It’s not big abrasive smoke, but a nice, subtle ashy smoke. Like a very muted Caol Ila.

Finish: Short but sweet and also faintly smokey. No astringency here and some nice vanilla lives on.

Overall: This is an interesting dram. It’s not huge, or bold, but nicely nuanced. There were one or two notes that I didn’t love, but overall it managed to be quite pleasant. It wasn’t particularly notable but I’m happy to see that for the age, it is not a disgusting bitter tannic oak bomb. I’m also impressed that the proof is still that “high” after so many years. I expected a barely legal proof, but this had some nice depth due to the extra couple of percent. To date, this is the oldest whiskey I’ve tried and it didn’t disappoint. I wish there was a bit more going on in the palate. I’m giving this a 6.

Thanks for reading!

Rank: 6


Decoded:

1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite

10 | Insurpassable | No better exists


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