Thanks to scotchandponder for the sample
There’s some distilleries that I can come in one, metaphorical dick swinging, acting like I know what I’m talking about. Immense amount of conceit and lack of self reflection goes into it, to the point where every single person I meet has to remind me I’m personally full of shit to ensure I don’t become a monster in the next season of One Punch Man.
Then there’s other distilleries. Perhaps I’m not into them, perhaps one of the whisky nerds I drink with isn’t into them, or maybe I’m not able to obtain them. Maybe they don’t make their way to the independent bottlers.
So where does Glen Elgin fall into that? First off they are owned by Diageo. It’s a key component in the current White Horse blended whisky. Also it’s released as its own Glen Elgin 12. So we’re not seeing them cutoff from IBs, since we’ve had IBs of their other whiskies (just look at the majority of Caol Ila I’ve drank).
Do I not like them? No, I don’t know enough about them. Sure, I enjoy other distilleries more, but as I’ve said way too many times, we’re in a time when considering other distilleries due to money not suddenly falling from heaven.
So one of the whisky nerds I hang out with is not a fan. Which is totally fine. And the rest of us have had other options to purchase. So we purchased them instead of Glen Elgin.
As such, we skipped over Glen Elgin 11 2007 Archives when it popped up, and only now am I having it as a different whisky nerd shared a dram.
This single cask is 11 years old (nearly 12), aged in ex-bourbon, and released at cask strength. That’s as pure of Glen Elgin as you can get. Well… not really, as single casks are usually sold off because they don’t match the typical flavour profile for its uses.
So we know this isn’t the Glen Elgin you get in White Horse or in Glen Elgin 12, and there wasn’t enough like this to show up for a Special Release from Diageo. That’s interesting. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $176 CAD
Vintage: December 13, 2007
Bottled: September 2019
Cask type: Hogshead
Cask number 3800325
Number of bottles 291
Colour: 7.5Y 9/4
Nose: Pear, ginger powder, gravel, Orange pekoe tea
Some fruit, then it goes down this dry, mineral note, and then goes to tannins. What little fruit is doing double duty here. Triple duty, even. Yes, it’s working as much as you are by your job that can’t hire correctly.
So a bit out of my wheelhouse, sure. I’m a sweet tooth who may as well be driving around an ice cream car with machine guns on it.
Taste: Orange, lemon, mineral, ginger
The citrus is very welcome here, and that’s coming from me. I’ve been attempting to recreate Bugs Bunny helping the US for years due to my hatred of citrus. Yes here… it works with the ginger and tames the mineral.
That all said, a few citruses aren’t super heroes. It gets stuck in the “raw food” department. Which all the people who love salads are going to love me saying are simplistic and not that interesting.
So yeah, it’s simplistic and not that interesting. Come at my raw food vegans, I eat enough red meat. My days are numbered anyway.
Finish: Lemon, brine, heather, soil, caramel
The finish is the first point where I feel the whisky is trying. No, there’s nothing that new. It’s a bit floral from the cask, there’s earth instead of soil, and the last gasp is caramel, the least unique note in whisky so far (arguably black pepper or heather could be the most but let’s just all agree caramel shows up in a lot of tasting notes).
Conclusion: Mineral heavy dram that will be polarising. There’s a small niche of sweet averse people who will love this whisky either as the ingredient in an interesting cocktail. I can see why Glen Elgin is used in mixes: It brings a mineral note that we enjoy in other whiskies, as well as lemon.
This has that. It’s close to other Glen Elgin I’ve had before. It’s not really doing much more like some of the nicer casks I’ve had. I want to try Glen Elgin 12 (Original Bottling) just to see if this is a cask strength version.
As it stands, other Glen Elgin’s I’ve had were well balanced with sweeter aspects. If you didn’t like the sweetness, then this is what you get.
Scotch review #1527, Speyside review #431, Whisky Network review #2247