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Pittyvaich’s story is a testament to the occasional boom and bust economics of whisky making.
The distillery was first established as a sister location to Dufftown distillery by blending company Arthur Bell & Sons’ (owners of the famous Bell’s blend) during the expansion of the 1970s. Initially constructed inside a shed on the Dufftown site, Pittyvaich produced whisky in the classic Bell’s “nutty-spicy” profile.
Unfortunately, as clear spirits dominated the 1980s, the market for blended whisky contracted, and after a few industry mergers, Pittyvaich was deemed surplus to requirements in 1993. The distillery was eventually demolished by Diageo 9 years later.
Like so many things, the quality of Pittyvaich’s spirit only truly began to be appreciated after its demise. Pittyvaich was the last distillery to be constructed in Dufftown, and the shortest lived. These days, all 6 remaining distilleries in Dufftown are successful single malts with global reach… It is hard not to imagine what could have been if Pittyvaich had staggered on a few years to the whisky boom of the late 90s and 21st century.
Nevertheless, such a brief operational life means this distillery’s spirit is in extremely short supply, and bottlings such as this remarkable 30 year old are to be cherished for the rarities they are. An excellent example of a style of whisky not often encountered.
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Surprisingly light and nimble, with a gentle black pepper spiciness, dark honey, later becoming tropical: pineapple, banana and sliced rock melon arrive with time and patience.
Oily and mouth-coating, with thick vanilla, sweetened lemon juice, fruits of the forest, more pineapple, banoffee pie and milk chocolate. A drying oak note leads into the finish.
Medium length, with a rolling milk chocolate, dried pineapple, cinnamon and drying oak profile. A once in a lifetime dram from this lost distillery.