Glenburgie keeps showing up as an up-and-coming malt in independent bottling circles. I can’t really tell if no one has followed them, or if they haven’t quite had an amazing year or perhaps the company owning them is only using them for a bit of a blend and needs to consistently get rid of barrels.
Suffice to say the answer is always: Keep drinking. Unless you’re drowning. Or an alcoholic. Really the answer is pretty specific to this situation.
In the past few months, I’ve had Glenburgie show up for two tastings. Since I’m so fucking behind, let’s see how they did head to head.
Thanks to /u/ScotchGuyTO for pouring this.
Glenburgie 9 Battlehill is up first. So what do we have here? Battlehill is from Duncan Taylor and typically offers younger, affordable offerings. Good start.
The first bit is that it says “Oak Casks” rather than ex-bourbon or ex-Sherry. So we don’t know if we’re getting nutty funk or apple pie. Also, it’s a pretty low abv. given the age, which can be a concern it’s been watered down.
None the less, when in Rome, drink as the Romans do. Age, abv, cask influence, and even who released the whisky can tell you things. However, you gotta try it before you can tell more about it. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Cask Type: Oak Casks
Number of bottles: 600
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Tobacco, vanilla, grass/anise, mango
I think it’s fair to say the oak casks were ex-bourbon at this point. Vanilla, grass, tropical fruit, and a big generic tobacco note, grassy and some smoke on it.
Not bad to nose. Not going to have me running home to have it, but nice and a bit different than other Burgie’s.
Taste: Tobacco, mint, lemon zest, honeydew melon
More of that tobacco note bit more zing to it. Acid, generic fruit. Again, easy sipping, doing things a bit different than other ex-bourbon Burgie’s. So if you hate Apple Pie, perhaps this is your option!
Finish: Smoke/heather, caramel, mineral, musty, violets
Gone is the tobacco note that I couldn’t figure out, enter that smoke that comes from ex-Bourbon casks, and some dusty salty flowers.
Frankly, it’s my favourite part.
Conclusion: I don’t like tobacco notes. If you do, you may love this. I can usually describe tobacco better (these days at least, since I was called out on not doing it), but this one had that vegetal, smoky note throughout. I’m not a fan. I’m a bad person for saying it, I guess.
This was fun. It was an exception to other Glenburgies I’ve had in the past. Frankly surprised me and was fun. Didn’t get too hurt by the low alcohol, and for the cost ($49 USD) it’s certainly nice to sip on.
Thanks to /u/devoz for pouring this.
Glenburgie 25 1992 Douglas Laing Old Particular showed up at the same location, but a few months later when I was at another tasting at said location.
So this time we have a refill hogshead ex-Bourbon cask. Good age, nice abv, frankly the name is turning me off quicker than a dunk in the lake when it’s frozen over.
When I was first showed this bottle, I made the comment that I’m not the biggest fan of Old Particular whiskies and I’m glad I didn’t buy it. Then I was informed that was a shitty thing to say to the person who had bought it, and that my social skills are poor.
That said, I’m basing that on having a bunch of the ones they lower to 48.4%, which are typically under 19-years-old.
So, other than being shitty at social situations, was I also shitty at judging a book by it’s cover? Yes, but let’s see if the whisky was good or not and then call be a shit.
Price: Sold out
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead
Cask Number: DL 11772
Number of bottles: 270
Colour: 5Y 9/8
Nose: Tangerine, floral, caramel, cinnamon, cashew
Nice tart nose, then slowly goes to a floral generic note, and slowly…. Wait, this is going apple pie and sneaking up on me!
Water brings out the nuttiness, changing things up, but I’m still thinking I was right.
Taste: Lemon, caramel, orange, pineapple, floral
Alright, more me being a dick and less apple pie. Yes, there’s floral, some caramel and lemon (look up a recipe you philistine, they are in there), but there are some tropical fruit notes. That’s different, right?
God I’m going to be a dick and right, aren’t I?
Finish: Plum, caramel, more caramel, burnt sugar, apple pie
Here we are. A ton of caramel, unbalanced, some fruit, and that apple pie. I guess that means this lower Abv., cheaper old ex-bourbon Glenburgie does what the other ones do, right? I guess?
Conclusion: Ex-bourbon Glenburgie delivers on apple pie, like all the others. You’d think I, a lover of pies (not in a 90s way), would love. Somehow though I prefer ex-sherry, dirty Burgies.
This is really clean. Think fruit, floral, caramel, and slight complexity on those ideas. I’ve met people who really, really enjoy that, and I don’t blame them. It’s nice.
Just not for me. This wasn’t a bad dram, just not for me. I’d try before you buy.
Scotch review #1181-2, Speyside review #332-333, Whisky Network review #1818-9