Glen Elgin SMWS 85.35 “Complex & full of character”

SMWS 8535.jpg

Reviews are an interesting thing.

I like to think of any review as a good starting point, not an end point.

For instance, recently I went to see Suicide Squad. I’m not the biggest DC fan. However I am a big comic book movie fan, and watch a lot of them.

I saw some reviews. Read quite a few, and saw some others. Fans, non fans, comic book fans, movie geeks, etc. The end result was it was meh, but better than Man of Steel, which I demand my time back before I die. Preferably from Zack Snyder.

None the less, from what I heard, I was ready for meh. I was prepared for a slightly more funny movie. And it was, in fact, meh. That’s okay.

Which brings me to this whisky. I’ve never had a Glen Elgin.

When the outtrun came out, as I’ve said before, I look for certain things. Young Speysides are not one of them. However first fill whiskies are on my radar.

But a distillery I don’t know, with a name that may as well say “Pay money for this”. Should I buy SMWS 85.35 “Complex & full of character”? I was at an impasse.

So I looked up some reviews. Found a couple cheering it on. Mix that in with the first fill, and I was closer to taking the leap.

And finally my wife convinced me to buy it. She logically looked through the situation, and, on our trip up to the East coast of Newfoundland, we decided to pick up a bottle.

So, did I make the right call? Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A in Ontario

Outturn: 216

Date Distilled: June 2006

Age: 9 years

Cask Type: First fill ex-bourbon barrel

Region: Speyside

Abv: 60.4%

Colour: 7.5Y 9/8

Nose: Buttermilk, caramel, mango pie, nutmeg, sweet cider

Sweet and sour, all in one. There’s very few simple flavours here. Not a beginner dram at all.

I make my mango pie with nutmeg, however I don’t know if that’s normal. Or if making a mango pie is normal. Oh well, too late now to be normal.

Taste: Nutmeg, mango, mint, jalapeno, vinegar, simple syrup

Again, nice mix of sour and sweet. I’m trying to not say sweet and sour because that sounds somewhere between cheap and shitty American Chinese food and cheap and shitty porn.

This is hot, as one might expect from a young dram. There’s some rough edges, but they aren’t too rough to throw it off. Less complex than the nose, however still following the same patterns.

Finish: Creme brulee, butter, caramel, mineral water, hot, venison

And complexity comes back, albeit with some baggage. I’m not super in love with the finish, as it’s creamy and tasty, yet also has elements of dry water and meatiness.

I can’t say the finish is great, but it’s quite unique.

Conclusion: All in all, I’m pleasantly happy with this one. The finish is kinda rough. Takes it down a few points. However the taste and nose are crazy good. Right balance of different flavours, good dry notes, and a nice amount of spice and heat.

Makes me wonder what the standard Glen Elgin measures up, and curious to try them out. I love nutmeg and mango, so I’m a sucker for this one. Also like buttermilk, because I’m a fatty. If you fall in the same dimensions as me, then this may be for you.


Scotch review #466, Speyside review #139, Whisky Network review #761

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