This release is the oldest Carsebridge Diageo have ever bottled, matured in refill American-oak hogsheads. There are just 1,000 bottles – a number chosen in honour of the work it took to get grain to the distillery. Grain was delivered to Carsebridge by sea, but the final step of the journey from boat to distillery was done by packhorse, each of which could carry a ton of grain – 1,000kg. One bottle per kilo of grain.
Nose: Portuguese custard tarts, crystallised honey, blackcurrants and model glue. Thick vanilla and toffee spread across a freshly varnished table.
Palate: Sugar syrup and fudge, lime and vanilla cream. Full-strength Ribena follows, along with developing notes of damp leaves and forest floors.
Finish: Blackcurrants hang around, slowly facing to reveal caramel, brown sugar and a touch of varnish.
Comment: A fine balance of the elegant dustiness and rancio typical of old grain against rich fruit and more youthful brown sugar and toffee notes.