The Sovereign, North British 1988 Aged 30 Years, aged and bottled by Hunter Laing
Single grain Scotch whisky distilled by the Lowland-based North British, bottled in 2019 by Hunter Laing for its Sovereign series - a range of single cask single grain whiskies bottled at cask strength and without chill-filtration or artificial colouring. We look forward to every release.
Nose: Milk chocolate, red apple and mature oak, then toasted sugar and just a faint hint of chilli heat.
Palate: Buttered soda bread, butterscotch and candied orange with layers of vanilla surrounding them.
Finish: Very long and smooth drying wood spice and sweet tobacco leaves.
About North British
The North British Distillery Company was established in 1885 on the western outskirts of Edinburgh by Andrew Usher, William Sanderson and John Crabbie. In 1885, the lease for the 10-acre site was £50 per year.
The three businessmen, all independent blenders and sellers of their own whisky brands, joined forces to build and operate a distillery that supplied their own grain spirit. Financed by the trade for the trade, the distillery ran under a cooperative agreement for the next hundred years.
The distillery became operational in September 1887. In its first 20 years of operation, the shareholders received a total of 440% on their investments – a very respectable return!
In 1905, a legal challenge was raised against grain whisky, stating that to be called whisky, the product must be made from malted barley and processed through a pot still. It took three years to successfully defend grain spirit’s right to be called whisky, and its status was eventually confirmed by law in 1908.
At the turn of the 20th century, the company sold its maltings and warehousing sites at Slateford Road and Westfield Road. It now operates on two sites, with the majority of its maturation warehousing concentrated at Muirhall in West Lothian. North British is now owned as a joint venture between Diageo plc and The Edrington Group.
Whilst it took just over 100 years for North British to produce 1.5 billion litres of alcohol, modernisation enabled the company to reach the 2 billion litres milestone just ten years later in 2008, and achieve 2.5 billion in 2015.