It’s an odd situation to talk about an up and coming distillery.
On the one hand, reviewers are a bunch of vain people who think everyone reads them. I, myself, am amongst this group, and you can thank god for that.
Our vanity is fuelled by reviewing whiskies we enjoy to say “Hey, someone else made something and I, someone you trust, reviewed it, so give me some of the credit.” So we search out whisky, hoping to find it first.
That’s great, right? However on the other hand, if we tell you about the distillery that we like, you may listen to us. The worst case scenario is our over-inflated egos are correct for once and we can’t find any whisky from the distillery anymore.
So that’s where I stand with Glenburgie. Some single casks have shown up and surprised me. Have I had any OBs? No, not at all. So I’m not worried. Much.
Thus when I was poured a sample of Glenburgie SMWS 71.41 “Curious and intriguing” at /u/devoz house, by Devoz, I second guessed if I should be reviewing.
Then I got the fuck over myself and just drank it and reviewed it.
So let’s see how it is, shall we?
Date Distilled: 26th March 1998
Age: 17 years
Cask Type: Refill ex-sherry gorda
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Sulphur, caramel, ginger, bakeapple jam, banana funk
Funk. Glenburgie always delivers the funk, like a proper club in the 70s. And hell, the 80s too.
It can take over quite a bit of your nose. It’s strong. It’s from a gorda. Bakeapples smell like a funky apple pie. And a little bit like a swamp. There’s funk, is what I’m saying.
Taste: Sulphur, ginger syrup, banana bread
So where as the last Glenburgie kept up a massive appealing flavour, this one has had a sulphur dump. A full on mine of it. The chickens have laid bad eggs, is what I’m saying. If it was a horror movie, that means someone just birthed Satan’s child.
I don’t mind banana bread. Actually I love it. And I don’t mind sulphur. Or ginger syrup. What I’m conflicted on is it’s three big, huge flavours that are unique and complex. But only three. It’s those things. And the last one was all over the place.
Finish: Oak, sand, dry apple, caramel, butter
Back to more flavours. But the complexity is done. But there’s more to it. And it’s less unique.
Conclusion: Strong notes all around, unique in some places. This is a Frankenstein’s monster of a whisky. And thus hard to score.
Breaking it down, the nose is really interesting, and why I love Glenburgies I’ve had. When I nosed this to start, I thought this would be like it’s sister cask, Sinbad.
The taste is complex but to the point. Blunt. Water brings out more funk, but it’s confusing.
The finish feels like it’s brought on from another whisky. It’s not bad. Conversely I think it has more of the Glenburgie taste than any other part. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s just… well it’s like finding out you have to write a book report after an orgy. You just had an orgy. You’re in a happy place. You don’t want to have to write a book report.
So try before you buy. It’s quality, but I think the last one from SMWS was a lot better.
Scotch review #740, Speyside review #207, Whisky Network review #1224