Deoch an Doras pronounced 'Joch an aborras' and translates in Gaelic as 'Drink at the door'.
Released as part of the Deoch an Doras series from Chivas Brothers, this 1973 vintage Inverleven was left to mature for 37 years before being bottled straight from cask in 2011. Mothballed in 1992, Inverleven distillery was part of the Hiram Walker's grain complex at Dumbarton and has sadly now been demolished, making this bottle that little bit more special.
Inverleven 37 Year Old - 1973 / Deoch an Doras (STK0001)
After sufficient ventilation, notes of fresh cookie dough and sweet apple compote rise in the nose, perhaps together also plum cake. Overall also malty and nutty. There is also something salty and a bitter-fresh-minty memory of grapefruit, sour cherry or orange jam, which turns into canned fruit or the lychees, which are sometimes available as a dessert in the Chinese restaurant. Even slightly rotten wood like in an old wine cork of a full-bodied red wine vibrates with it, an old haystack, lilac and behind it - aha - white wine vinegar and a little olive oil.
In the mouth, a cold and dry bitterness turns its round, "tart" comes to mind as an association, the grain and nuts, most likely almonds, are clearly present. Add herbs - maybe rosemary? - and something floral, minty. The mixture is reminiscent of strong cold espresso and, with a little banana and whole grain, results in an impression similar to a strong herb bitter.
The finish is medium-long, a minty-malty mixture of freshness and earthy notes reverberates with memories of marzipan and almonds for a little while longer.