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Perth was once a hub for the blending of scotch whisky, with the likes of Dewar’s, Bell’s and Highland Distillers calling it home at one time. When Edrington relocated to Glasgow in early 2017 however, it marked the end of an era and left the city completely bereft of this once proud industry.
Morrison & MacKay, a family-owned Perthshire company, have sought to address this issue by celebrating the city’s legacy through the resurrection of an historic brand.
Old Perth blended scotch was the brainchild of local grocer Peter Thomson, who plied his trade in the early 1900s. Thomson created a unique product for his loyal customers, blending malts from distilleries in Speyside, Islay and the Highlands with spirit from the North British grain distillery. Over the years, his blend grew into a successful brand and his grocer became the Peter Thomson company. By the 1960’s ‘Old Perth’ was a blend known for quality and famed for its high malt content. By 1973 however, the company was achieving far greater success with its Beneagles brand and took the decision to shelve Old Perth indefinitely.
Later, when Whyte & MacKay acquired Invergordon distillery in 1993, they simultaneously gained the Old Perth brand but alas, the famous Glasgow blender harboured no desire to revive it and so the next two decades saw the name all but forgotten, condemned, like the rest of Perth’s whisky story, to the history books.
Then came a rebirth in 2013, when independent bottler and blender Morrison & MacKay purchased the rights and relaunched Old Perth as a blended malt. Today, there are three core expressions – ‘Original’, ‘Peaty’ and ‘Sherry Cask’, each bottled at 43% and all on the market in the UK for a very reasonable price.
Smell: Chocolate Raisins, Orange Zest, Heather Honey, Vanilla and Caramel.
Taste: The Sherry is less in your face than on the nose but still a presence… Caramel, Orange, Ginger and Cinnamon, Baked Apples and a touch of Grape.
Value for Money: The Old Perth series offers fairly high quality at a very reasonable price with the Sherry Cask generally available for around £30.
Consistently one of the best value drams on the market, the Old Perth range continues to impress with this Sherry Cask version. Perhaps not a mind-blower, but an affordable dram that can be sipped and enjoyed by all. Great stuff.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.