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North British Distillery was established in 1885 in Edinburgh by Andrew Usher, William Sanderson and John M. Crabbie. Since 1993 the distillery has been owned by Lothian Distillers, a joint venture between Diageo and The Edrington Group with each company holding 50% of shares. North British produces 65 million liters of spirit per annum with main distilling grain being corn. There is no official bottling (and never was) of North British single grain, the one presented here comes from Signatory Vintage as part of Rare Reserve range. The whisky distilled on December 21, 1959 was aged in refill butt no. 67876 and bottled at cask strength of 55.6% abv on January 31, 2011 with an outrun of 289 bottles.
Nose: quite elegant, vanilla, caramel, toffee, toasted coconut, baked apples, touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, hint of olive oil, oak and distant whiff of smoke.
Palate: rich, milk chocolate, buttered toast, vanilla, toffee, traces of orange and lemon peel, cloves, cinnamon, hint of smoke and lingering oakiness.
Finish: pretty long, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and pleasant oaky dryness.