Blair Athol 12 Year Old

Blair Athol Distillery is the home of Bell's blended whisky, a popular brand famous for its long running series of bell shaped commemorative decanters. 

Nearly all of the whisky made here goes to supply the blend, so tasting the malt is a bit of a rare treat.

Smelling it, there's a touch of sherry character to the whisky – dried fruits, nuttiness – but the dominant aroma is malt or grist. This malted cereal character carries onto the palate, which is sweet, and also has a wee citrus tang. At the finish the whisky dries out, the citrus note turns to green apple, and it becomes a little peppery.

Blair Athol 12 Year Old is a good everyday dram. If you like Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old or other robust Highland malts then this is an interesting alternative.

About £35/70cl; at the distillery, from specialist retailers, Master of Malt, Royal Mile Whiskies.