Well this is a treat! We first tried this whisky on a Water of Life Society (WOLS) trip in 2014 thanks to a very generous member. Whiskyphiles did a post on it back then, and we recently tried it again while having dinner with the current WOLS president. It does pay to a part of WOLS!
St. Magdalene Distillery was founded in 1798 and closed in 1983 along with many other distilleries. It was located in Linlithgow which is a town about 20 miles west of Edinburgh. Due to its location, it is also known as Linlithgow Distillery. The distillery site has been converted into flats which seems to be a common thing to do with old distillery buildings. Linlithgow is most well known for Linlithgow palace which sits on the banks of the small Linlithgow loch. We’ve never been inside the palace, but it looks majestic from the outside and you can fly fish for trout in the loch if you purchase a fishing ticket from the Forth Area Federation of Anglers. It’s good fishing!
Bottles of St. Magdalene whisky are becoming quite scarce due to it being closed, so we were very lucky to get to try some of this. On top of that, this whisky was finished in port casks which makes it even more special! Double luck! This particular expression was bottled by the independent bottler Murrary McDavid, which is a company started in 1996 by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin, and Gordon Wright. In the year 2000, they purchased Bruichladdich distillery and restored production there. If the name Mark Reynier rings a bell, it’s probably because he was one of the main creators of the current version of Bruichladdich, along with the master distiller, Jim McEwan, who recently retired. Why am I telling you all of this? Well just to explain why the label on the bottle says that it was bottled at Bruichladdich in 2006.
So yes, a very special whisky for many reasons. Oh yeah and this is part of the Mission Gold series from Murray McDavid, which is their crème de la crème range (really good stuff).
Distillery: St. Magdalene (aka Linlithgow)
Age: 24 Years Old
Cask: Ex-bourbon and then finished in ex-port casks.
Dark plum and blackberry pudding. Cinnamon and old mahogany. Crispy pie crust. Citrus zest. Sticky toffee pudding soaked with rum and with plump raisins. Funnel cake with confectionary sugar.
Intense dark deep Syrup sweetness of blackberry jam and plum tarts. Spiciness builds through. Cloves and anise and cinnamon and concentrated vanilla extract. A sweet meatiness like Chinese roast pork buns. Super powerful sweetness full of character.
Dark jam and blackberry pie. Oak tannins. Coca cola ice cream float.Peach sherbet.
Amazing! Incredible depth and character and balance. Such full flavours. Makes me think of the 3 course meal gum from Willy Wonka’s. Just takes you on a ride of flavours. Pure imagination!