Full, yellow gold in colour with fine beading. On the nose it is dry and savoury, with ripe fruits on a herbal and slightly spicy base; fruit boxes packed with red apples, walnuts and nut brittle toffee. Subtly aromatic, with mature oaky vanilla, dark chocolate, dry sawdust and polish. Medium to light-bodied, on the palate it is at first cool and tangy, smooth and with a sweeter taste than expected; a sugary fruit compote. Soon drying, powerful and mint-clean, with a charred bitterness; flinty and toasty, growing increasingly appetising, with dark chocolate and grape skins, then savoury. The finish is long with considerable spice; herbal, with drying cedar and clove, and black tea notes. An appealing charred and savoury note.
Moved and renamed, rescued and preserved, Inchgower became more than just a distillery for its founders and his loyal workers. It was an idea – a reaction to increasing land prices, and a commitment to Single Malt Scotch Whisky – and one of the only distilleries to inspire a poem. Originally known as Tochieneal, the distillery was built near Cullen, by local factor, Alexander Wilson. His nephew - confusingly called Uncle Sandy - built a thriving business, but was forced to suspend operations in 1870, when a doubling of the rent made the small premises uneconomic to operate. A move to the coast where the rent was lower, and Inchgower was born 1871. Men who spent their working lives there recorded the move in the poem “Tochieneal”. Inchgower remained in the Wilson family until 1929, but had to be saved from receivership by the local council during the troubled 1930s. Happily, acquisition by Arthur Bell & Sons in 1938 secured its future, and – aside from an expansion to accommodate two more stills in 1966 – the buildings are largely unchanged to this day. A confusingly delicious coastal malt, in many ways, Inchgower whisky compares to the inland Speyside malts as does Manzanilla to inland sherries – cleaner, more assertive, less elegant perhaps, dry and fruity, with a crisp, salty tang, that reflects its coastal upbringing.