Convalmore is one of those distilleries that is no more. Thinking of closed distilleries I alway think about Monty Pythons dead parrot sketch: It’s not pinin’! It’s passed on! This distillery is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet ‘its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Its chemical processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-DISTILLERY! Or something down those lines.
Convalmore was founded in 1893. A large part of the distillery was destroyed in a fire in 1909. It was rebuilt with an added continuous still to make whisky at a lower cost. This didn’t work so the stills were discontinued in 1916. In 1962 the stills were heated indirectly with steam. Convalmore was mothballed in 1985 and the buildings were sold to William Grant & Sons in 1990, who use them for storing their own malts.
Color: Full Gold
Nose: Sweet caramels, more brown sugar and leafy. Promises a full body, gravy. Fresh. Tea with spicy wood, calcium (a sort of powdery dryness) and sea-spray. Definitively meaty at first. Unbelievable, but this has hints of raspberry. Sawdust, Mocha with milk chocolate and orange juice. Vanilla and a touch of banana. Based on the nose alone, a very classy distillate. Great balance. Maybe not the most complex of malts at first, but give this nose some time and you’ll be rewarded. I like this a lot.
Taste: Spicy and sugary, fruity sweet with a turning point into wood and beer. Also some Worcester sauce and almonds. The transition from the toffee sweetness that turns quickly into the dry wood is quite interesting. Again some orange-juice. The beer returns, with the wood, in the finish. Well its safe to say that this one is all about the wood. you don’t hear me say that it’s too much of overpowering. No. it is a woody whisky, but it is one of those that really should be woody. Wood is its strength. The rest of the body is firm enough to counterpart the wood. Again very interesting, but no easy dram. I hate the word, but this may be for connoisseurs only.
I don’t hear this a lot, but I ám very intrigued by the special releases of Diageo (and the rare Malts of course). I’d really want to meet the people who make these releases. To know what they have in mind, what they use from their warehouses, and why. Intrigued. And give it some time to breathe. By the way, it worked well with water too.