Prometheus 28 Year Old 1988 Speyside Single Malt
Today we’re trying Prometheus 28 year old, a 1988 vintage Speyside single malt bottled by the Glasgow Distillery Co. It’s fair to say that the GDC have been keeping themselves pretty busy since their foundation in 2014. As so many new distilleries do, they decided to make some gin while they were waiting for their whisky to mature; the result, Makar, now has five different expressions with more on the way, and has won dozens of international awards including the title of World’s Best Flavoured Gin at this year’s World Drinks Awards.
Meanwhile, 2018 saw a momentous landmark in the company’s distilling history, as their first single malt spirit – the first malt whisky to be distilled in Glasgow since 1902 – finally reached maturity. 1770 Glasgow Single Malt has made a bit of a splash since its first appearance, winning Gold Medals at the Scotch Whisky Masters, the International Spirits Challenge, the San Francisco World Spirits Competitions and the International Whisky Competition in Las Vegas, where it also took the title of Best Lowland Malt.
It’s been confirmed recently that Triple Distilled and Peated expressions of 1770 single malt are in the pipeline and will form the bedrock of the permanent range, and the company also produce G52 vodka (distilled from barley, wheat and rye) and a recently-launched spiced rum, Banditti Club.
All that, and they’re independent bottlers too! The Prometheus brand launched in 2015 with a 26 year old, which was followed by a 27 year old in 2016. Like its predecessors – and not dissimilar to the Crabbie’s 30 year old we tried last year – Prometheus 28 year old is from an (undisclosed) Speyside distillery whose older, heavily-sherried official bottlings set the bar for world record auction prices. There’s more to come from this range, too – so keep your eyes peeled.
Prometheus 28 Year Old 1988 Speyside Single Malt, 53%, 888 bottles only, 70cl, £550 here
Nose: Autumn leaves and woodglue at the start, but the initial waves are dominated by patisserie aromas – Belgian buns, cooked raisins, apple turnovers, Eccles cakes. A subsequent interlude of some old bookcase aromas, then becomes more pruney. With a little time in the glass, some chocolate hints appear, then back to more traditional sherry aromas of fruitcake, a whiff of burnt raisins, dark gingerbread, then very faint pine resin, latex, desiccated coconut and apple syrup. The slightest suggestion of a faraway bonfire. This is a long-developing nose of highly complex, interlocking aromas, with an oak character showing real gravitas. Water releases a Highland Toffee aroma and some flapjack notes.
Palate: Fullish body, warm, spicy mouthfeel. Savoury oak initially, then muscovado sugar, apple fruit leather, the gingerbread from the nose – very dark, almost singed – plus rich fruitcake, stewed orange and some nutty, biscuity notes. Develops faint woodglue and latex hints, then rye bread, treacle tart and cinnamon biscuits. The integration is excellent, with the oak the bedrock of a really powerful, balanced presence on the palate. Water lifts the acetones slightly, with calvados and pear brandy notes appearing.
Finish: Good length, warm without getting too hot, spicy with a faint sootiness. Walnut cake and clove rock, lingering cooked raisins and dry oak spices.
Comment: A serious, brooding, intense whisky with a truly profound oak structure underpinning the more colourful, fruity touches. As you’d expect, this is not an aperitif whisky – it’s much more of an after-dinner dram ideal for late night fireside contemplation. The marketing for Prometheus 28 makes much of the lightly peated malt used for this batch of malt from a distillery more traditionally associated (in the old days at least) with full-on sherry maturation, but the smoke is really just a suggestion here, a side-player in the epic presence of an old school sherry cask from the very top drawer. Marvellous stuff, get it here while you can.