I’m a pretty simple person. My pizza has 4 toppings when I order it, I can’t eat out at any chain place when I travel, and I drink whisky following a simple principle that it’s like Pokemon and my self-worth is based on continuing to review more and more of it otherwise I’ll have half a second to realize that societal agreements are falling apart leading to a very boring dystopia.
Glen Albyn? Sure, why not. Yes, I’ve actually had a Glen Albyn before. What was it known for? Why using water from none other than Loch Ness, known as the only Loch non-Europeans know anything about. I could literally be within 200 km of a loch right now, in my country, and wouldn’t know it at all.
And there’s a shopping mall where it used to be. However before someone made a new paved paradise, they made Glen Albyn 26 1978 Hart Brothers Finest Collection. Well, they distilled it and laid it down in a cask, and eventually, well after you could buy khakis where it was made, Hart Brothers bought the cask and put it in many bottles, presumably with some watering down.
Hart Brothers and I don’t run into one another too often. It’s mostly because they don’t always do cask strength. But maybe this will be different. Let’s see, shall we?
Vintage: February 1978
Bottled: September 2004
Colour: 5Y 7/6
Nose: Peach tart, Werthers, basil, orange, papaya
Buttery, peach, some strong toffee notes, and just a bit of herbal notes. It reminds me of a British pudding with butter, the fruit, and just a bit of herbal notes.
Lots of fruit going on. Similar to the only other Glen Albyn I had, so I think that’s part of the spirit character and not a situation with a wet Oloroso cask (for instance, I don’t actually know what type of cask this was).
Taste: Lemongrass, button mushroom, sesame dessert, roast pineapple
More herbs, more citrus, lovely roasted fruit, and some flat out earth. The whole thing tastes a tad on the sweet side, but doesn’t go over the cliff on it. Also really unique toasty/roasty notes going on.
Yeah, I wanted to do a joke about toasty and roasty there too, but blanked. Oh well.
Finish: Moss, rock sugar, mint, manure/farmy, persimmon
Simpler finish than the rest, but the most difference: More floral, more raw sugar, and some earthy/vegetal notes.
Not going to lie: Was a bit of a full on “you need to take the seventh exit on the roundabout” turn. With time though I really liked it, and found some fun flavours.
Conclusion: Herbal, Mineral, and Tropical. Lots of unique, fun flavours. It starts out pretty simple, but builds from there: Buttery, fruity, and earthy. Simply put you don’t typically run into a whisky like this.
The last Glen Albyn I had was not so hot. Looking back it missed some of the nuance of this cask, and I wasn’t really hunting any others. This changes my mind. Gotta see if it’s the exception to the rule or not.
Scotch review #1477, Speyside review #416, Whisky Network review #2181