As we have already tried many of the ‘known’ and readily accessible distilleries, it is always a treat to add a less readily accessible distillery to our list!
So back in 2014, I proudly picked up a bottle of Glenburgie from the prodigious Speyside region. At the time, we never tried anything from this distillery, primarily as it is used in blends like Ballentine’s with no “official” distiller editions. I looked forward to showing off something ‘different’ when it came around to my turn to host!
The irony is by the time we cracked open the bottle in February 2016, it was no longer the ‘1st’ Glenburgie to cross my palate:
- Glenburgie 15 year 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) – which we called the ‘Downton Abbey’ of whiskies!
- Ballentines 17 year Glenburgie 40% – flips between sour, sweet and a little smokey
So much for bringing a little novelty to our tastings!!
As always, our blind whisky tasting approach reigns supreme… so how did this one fare?
Signatory Vintage – Glenburgie 1995 46%
- Colour – Light straw
- Nose – Bright, fresh, clean fruit, sweet, hint of coconut, toffee, oily, no peat or was there a whiff? Fresh grass, much more fruit than spice or flower, lovely yet quite linear, no major surprises
- Palate – Initially much sharper, sour and very different than we expected from the nose, sweet, spice and bitter, a tingling on the tongue, mild citrus. The bitter gives it character – in a good way. Has a very good palate, sits on the tongue and is well rounded.
- Finish – Bitter – some initially thought it short, others found its like a punch that you still feel after some time topped with a dash of cherry cough syrup
- Water – Opens it up, makes it even more approachable, however loses the light coconut nose, though the syrupy element stays
- Speculation – Immediately thought likely an independent bottler – possibly Gordon & MacPhail. Single Cask? Could it be a Highland Speyside? Perhaps younger? Speculation ran riff!
- Overall – Approachable, one of those books that is easy to read, quite pleasant. For some this was the favourite of the evening.
Here are the only details available about this Signatory Vintage:
Aged 18 years, distilled on 13 June 1995 and bottled on 20 Feb 2014. Matured in the Highland. Cask No 6451 with an outturn of only 391 bottles. No chill filtration, natural colour.
A bit of trivia I find interesting is Glenburgie was run for a time in the early 20th century by a woman – Margaret Nichol – reputed to be the first female manager of any whisky distillery.
Up next in our Signatory Session:
- Bunnahabhain 26 years (6 June 1988 / 7 Aug 2014) Cask No 1874, 175 bottles 48.6% (Signatory)
- Edradour 10 year (2 Nov 2004/26 Mar 2015) Cask No 406, Bottle 440 46% (Signatory)
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