Ladyburn ‘Rare Ayrshire’ 36yo 1974/2010 (46%, Mo Òr, Bourbon Barrel #2608, 261 bottles, 500 ml)

As said before this distillery was briefly opened between 1966 and 1975. As far as vintages go not a lot were released. Officially a lot of 1973’s were released. This vintage was also released by Blackadder and Duncan Taylor. Signatory Vintage released a lot of 1975’s (and one 1974). Two of these 1975’s I have reviewed on these pages earlier. Last but not least in this case, Cadenheads had some releases from the opening year 1966, but that was a long time ago in 1979 and 1980. Besides these few ‘players” not a lot of Ladyburns are to be found. Now here pops up a 1974. As far as I know, there are three 1974’s released. Cask 2607 by Signatory @ 53.9% ABV (in 2011). Cask 2604 by Dutch bottler Van Wees @ 52.1% ABV, (also in 2011), and from 2010, Cask 2608 by fellow Dutch bottler Mo Òr @ 46% ABV. It’s not hard to guess how much (or how little) this got reduced. Rumour has it, these 1974 are pretty good.

Color: Light Gold

Nose: Very aromatic. Sweet and clean. Pops out of the glass. Fruity and lively. Great combination of farmyness and fruity sweetness. On the nose it’s already a lot better than the 1975 Ladyburns I tried before. Nice wood too. Great greenish notes with gravy. If the taste will be anything like the nose, we’ll have a winner on our hands. When this get’s time to breathe the lively fruits make room for something more dark and broody. Meaty and some perfume. Very interesting.

Taste: Fresh, fruity (pineapple) and in nothing you would say this is such an old malt. Not as complex as the nose is. The initial fruits are very quickly replaced by caramelized wood. Finish is good and slightly woody. But considering it’s age you would definitively expect more wood in this.

Very likeable Ladyburn. The nose is very much better than the 1975 Signatories I tried before. Taste wise, maybe not so complex, but less woody than the Signatories. Very nice Ladyburn, one of the best that’s still around, ánd reasonably priced as well!

Points: 86

Thanks again to Henk for this sample.

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