It's been a long time since I had some Glenburgie, I think its one of those whiskies that's seldom bottled by IB's and OB's are hard to find. And when a cask is finally bottled by IB's there's very little attention given. Perhaps there is a reason why, I'm not sure, I do not know this distillery well enough yet to make a thoroughly decided verdict of my own yet.
Glenburgie 20yo 1948&1961-1981 40% G&M Charles & Diana Wedding Commemoration
The one I had from Glendronach yesterday to commemorate Andrew & Sarah was not bad at all. And in this there are even older stock, dating back to 1948, which makes for 33yo when bottled then. Princess Di was a little younger so there's some 60's and some 40's Glenburgie involved which should make for an interesting old-styled whisky. Golden brown color. It smells floral, honey, eucalyptus, minty, fresh, definitively more Diana than Charles if the whisky should reflect ones personality. The taste is all on sweet fruits, figs, dates, prunes, kiwi, strawberry, pear drops and concentrated nougat. The overwhelming nougat/creamy chocolate sensation in the end is fine by me, but it ruins a bit of all the good fruity notes that surprises the palate initially. This is a whisky which's absolutely impossible to dislike, it just lacks a bit on the finish to get a top score.
Perfect sipping whisky, take your time and enjoy again and again: 6.5
Glenburgie 5yo 40% OB for Italy
A very young whisky, I know that back in the days there were a couple of 5yo's around, Dunglass was a version of Littlemill that were bottled 5yo, there were some Springbanks at 5yo for a small period. The color is golden. Smells young and spirity, some banana and vanilla. The taste is young and peppery, malt aromas and black pepper, very easy and one-dimensional, yet the spirity notes that I was expecting never shows. Which is a good thing. Makes for a light and easy-drinking whisky. A style that I think these says is much more preferred in blends than single malts. Seems to be some peaty notes here, did they ever peat their malt at Glenburgie? Perhaps there was something in the water...
What you'd expect from a very good young blend: 5
Glenburgie 26yo 1983-2010 53.7% Bladnoch Forum cask#9801
I don't know if they are still bottling at the Bladnoch Forum, after the new owners arrived? It seems there's only one Glen Spey bottling left up for grabs over there. Light honey color. It smells heather, steam, red onions, stout beer, very non-assertive, almost passive on the nose. The taste is oaky, lots of oak, needs water. With water added and reduced to about 40%abv, it becomes thicker, fruitier, some melon, papaya and sharon fruit. Amazing, some water added transforms this one from an oak-bomb without nuances to an exotic and fruity whisky. I believe this shows water sometimes doesn't just better the whisky, it can also completely revamp it.
Like whisky strong and robust? Not this, but perfect on a lazy sunny afternoon: 6
Glencraig 22yo 1981-2003 57.5% Cadenhead's
As many of you sure will already know, Glencraig was a whisky made at the Glenburgie Distillery back in the 80's and prior. The difference was that it was produced using lomond stills, these stills were replaced in 1981, so this might be from one of the last batches made from those stills. There is only one distillery left that uses Lomond stills today, and that is Loch Lomond Distillery. Light white wine color, smells burnt and spirity, kind of reminds me of some Loch Lomonds actually. Again these whiffs of peaty smokiness, and gasoline. The taste is peppery, peaty, kind of reminds me of some young Bruichladdich, very bourbon-dominated with sweet vanilla and grassy notes. Again I think it needs to be diluted. Water makes for a much more burlesque, I'm sorry for the clumsy adjective, but this is a whisky that will make you guess why they even started using the Lomond stills. Or perhaps its just from a bad cask...
I don't know, but what I sure know is that I think its foul: 1.5
Glenburgie 10yo 1984-1994 59.2% Gordon & Macphail Cask cask#2255,2256,2260
A mix of three casks, which is often done in the G&M Cask series, I have yet to understand why a single cask bottling is so much more in demand than a vatting of different casks as long as the result shows perfection. The 1980 27yo Laphroaig, which consists of 5 different sherry casks, is to me one of the two best Laphroaigs there is. Light golden hue. It smells rich, dark chocolate, honey, coriander, tea shop, roasted almonds, gets more spirity after a while. The taste is a killer, dry as sahara, brick, sandstone, lemon peel and grape seeds. To say this one could benefit from water would be an insult to water. It can only go one way from here. Now, with much time and some water added it tastes spirity and drying still, sulphury, spirity, condom fluids (the ones that are on the outside, not that I'd know), synthetic massage oil, hair wax, a grim beast!
Probably one of the worst whiskies I've had this far: 0
Glencraig 30yo 1974-2005 49.6% SMWS 104.4
This one is called "Ashes in a grate, which probably does to some extent confirm my former suspicions of peat being evident in some of the Glenburgies so far in this session. This one was produced just about 15 years after they started using the Lomond Stills, so perhaps this will suit my palate better than the 1981? The color is of white wine. It smells spirity, sugary, apple vinegar and syrup. The taste is very light, sweet, grappa, nothing more, nothing less. Easy to say, this is a whisky that has been left in the cask for too long, but then again, it's better than the 1981 from Cadenhead's.
Light and easy, a grandma's bridge malt: 2.5
Next tasting: Loch Lomond Distillery