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North British 53 Year Old 1961 (cask 10708) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

(70cl, 51.8%)

North British 53 Year Old 1961 (cask 10708) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

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North British 53YO #10708 Bottling Note

A 53(!) year old single grain bottled by Douglas Laing for their XOP (Xtra Old Particular) range. Distilled in December 1961 and bottled in August 2015, the outturn of this sensationally aged whisky from a single refill butt was just 186 bottles!

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Some welcome smoke upfront, like spent sparklers. Spicy with nutmeg especially, baked lemon wheels into boiled sweets, then as it opens up classic vanilla fudge. Almond Panettone and Sherried oak as you return to the glass.

Palate: Rich and oaky with lively, fruity rye spice then clove. Really spicy. Flamed orange peel, dark treacle and liquorice too.

Finish: Long and initially slightly fizzy with some freshness returning, like old fashioned lemonade. Soon it's chewy dried fruits, especially dates.

Overall: An incredible grain whisky. An incredible whisky!

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North British 53 Year Old 1961 (cask 10708) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Reviews

You have no idea

I have no idea what makes this scotch so amazing. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think it's because it was made from pouring caramel over the leather of an old Aston Martin.

It was like some beautiful bird flapped into my drab little man cave on a Wednesday night, when the kids were asleep and made everything just dissolve away...

And for the briefest of moments, it was 1961, and I was there when it was distilled, and said, 'Lads, you have no idea what you've just done... But in about 55 years, it's gonna make some very lucky people very happy.'

19th May 2016


This is hands-down the most amazing Scotch I've ever tasted. Thank you for including it in the advent calendar. I wish I could still get my hands on a bottle.

26th February 2016

Holy smoke !

Tastes like a grand'ma's rocking chair. Awesome

6th January 2016

Interesting experience

It's strange to drink whiskey that's about 20 years older than I am. I mean: distilled in 1961?! ... J.F. Kennedy was still alive, the Cuba Missile Crisis did not happen for another year and WW II was only 16 years before. Did I say I'm feeling somewhat strange? :) The oldest whiskey I drank to date was Old Pulteney 21 yo, so I had no experience with really old whiskeys like this one...

Anyway, I'm sitting here nosing and sipping small bits to get to know this old fellow. I agree with most of the tasting notes on top of this page, but to describe my own experience:

Nose: smokey oak is definitely véry present, more than I have ever scented in any whiskey before.

Taste: very oaky with a slight hint of bacon (yes, bacon), a first in my whiskey experience. Soon after spicy. Smokey, but due to the old oak, not actually smokey like a peated whiskey would be.

Finish: I'm not very good at describing a finish, so bear with me. The spicyness stays for a while fading away into this big long finish where oak and smoke keep ruling the place. Again, not to say this actually is a smokey whiskey, it's the old oak. Hints of bacon as well.

Overall this was a very interesting first old whiskey experience. Seems like these whiskeys have their own personality which can't be compared to their younger counterparts. Very enjoyable. It might be a bit too oaky for some, but personally I liked it: it defined my new experience.

If we're talking price/quality none of these very old whiskeys are worth their price in my humble opinion. There are some very good whiskeys out there to drink for under 100 EUR a bottle that are different but definitely not worse than this one (think Highland Park 18 yo, Old Pulteney 21, Springfield 18, Bruichladdich Laddie Ten, etc...)

BUT if you would like to experience a very old whiskey then 35 EUR for a sample or 500 EUR for a whole bottle is definitely a lot less than the insane 3000 EUR+ you're paying for those Glenfiddich / Highland Park 40 year olds.


28th December 2015

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