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[Malt Review] Thompson Bros Islay Single Malt 31 Years Old

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Thompson Bros Islay Single Malt 31 Years Old – Review



The 1960’s is still widely accepted as the greatest period of Scotch whisky production. Many devotees (including Phil and Simon Thompson of the Thomson Bros label) find that vintage Scotches from this era tend to be of a distinctly better quality. Apparently, they deliver better flavour, texture and more character.

Take for example the two legendary Samaroli expressions: Laphroaig Sherry Wood 1967 and Bowmore Bouquet 1966. These bottles are said to represent an impeccably balanced style of whisky that no longer exists- with a perfect trio of freshness, fruitiness, and gentle smokiness. Unlike modern Islay expressions, you might be surprised to find that these vintage expressions aren’t particularly peaty. They tend to contain bigger notes of fresh tropical fruits, accompanied by a more refined and moderate smokiness. Our bottle today has an intriguing style that- dare I say- harkens back to the old style of Islay Scotches released by Samaroli.

This is a Thompson Bros 31-year-old Islay Single Malt, 52.7% ABV, that was bottled for Singaporean indie bottler M&E Drinks, and Indonesian bar owner, Andrew Soetiono (better known in the circle as Whiskyhobo). This is a crossover project between whisky enthusiasts from three countries. This was distilled in 1989, then matured entirely in a single bourbon barrel. The total outrun is 264 bottles. The Islay distillery involved is officially undisclosed; more on that in a moment.

Before we go to the liquid, let’s talk a little about the label...


Read the full review here.