Jun 062013
 

Glen Keith 1968 (Connoisseur’s Choice)030

46% abv

Score:  92.5/100

 

Quite a charming old gaffer here. 

Glen Keith is not a distillery we see much of on the shelves, due to its 1999 mothballing, but I’ve tried a couple of nifty little gems from this Speyside secret.  Unfortunately, most of the distillery’s output was destined for the blending halls before the doors were locked and the distillery was quietly put on ice.

From what I’ve read, as of late 2012, extensive renovations are under way at Glen Keith, leading to some excitement (on my part, anyway) over another Lazarus distillery.  Tales of this sort warm the cockles and put a big sh*t-eating grin on my face.  It’s cool to be around while a bit of whisky history is unfolding.  Now here’s hoping that there is long-term sustainability in the cards and that, while i know its primary purpose is to be a blend conponent again, we get to see some more of the whisky hit the market as single malt.

This 1968 Connoisseurs Choice independent bottling is from a remade hogshead.  Seeing as it was bottled in 2010, we’re looking at about a 42 year old whisky…give or take a few months.  In human years…that’s young and spry.  In malt years…that’s older than sands of the Sahara.  When you start counting a whisky’s age in decades, you have to begin to fear the worst: overoaking.  In this case, all doubts are quickly assuaged.  Originating from a remade hoggy, I can only assume there was nothing too active about the wood itself.  Nice smooth and even, in terms of profile.  This is really a lovely whisky.

…And sadly, I believe, long gone. 

Nose:  Paint on wood.  Dunnage warehouse.  Mint.  Hot cross buns and almond chips.  Vanilla.  Orange zest.  Very mellow notes of fruit cocktail in syrupy.  A little bit waxy.  All sorts of neat little nuances to investigate with this one.  The faintest hint of struck match after 30 or so minutes in the glass (but not in that overwhelming suphuric brimstone nastiness kinda way).

Palate:  Juicy…fruity delivery.  Mild and very pleasing.  Fresh home-made mixed fruit pie.  Vanilla cream.  Marzipan and something a little more in the way of a mildly spiced, leathery note.  Soft biscuit.  Beautiful palate. and a very clean dram.

* Thanks to Andrew Ferguson at Kensington Wine Market for this wee taster of Gen Keith.  Andrew gets most of the best whiskies in the city.  Go see him.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 9:23 am
Apr 062013
 

Glenisla 1977 (Signatory)019 (2)

50.7% abv

Score:  90/100

 

Don’t go hunting through your whisky books and favorite online blogs for details about the Glenisla distillery.  It doesn’t exist.  Glenisla was a peated malt produced for a small window of time in the 1970s at the Glen Keith distillery in Speyside.

To date, the only versions of this malt I’ve heard tell of are from Signatory.

Much as you’d expect, after 32 years in wood, most of the peat has been knocked off.  The influence of time and decent oak has been kind here.  And rather gentle.  Though this is no showstopper of a dram, there is something about it I find rather endearing.

A mate of mine finds a rather ‘off’ industrial note to it, but it certainly isn’t a prevalent one to me.  Quirky, yes.  Off, no.  Irrespective…the charm in the depth of peach and spice are more than enought to please this palate.

Finally…if I had only two words to describe this whisky?  Peach putty.

Nose:  Playdough/plasticene.  Peach.  Lots and lots of peach.  Dried apricot.  A pouchful of fresh tobacco (here are the earthier, more organic peat notes too…though restrained).  Spiced yeasty dough.  Scottish shortbread and orange.

Palate:  Smoke and peat finally make a half-hearted attempt at putting in a proper showing.  Peaches.  An almost ‘sweaty’ note.

* An interesting note on the peating method can be found at the Malt Madness site.

Thanks to my mate, Vikash, for the chance at this one.  Love ya, brother.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 8:54 am