Chieftain’s Glen Elgin 9 Year (2008)

Scotch Review #74: Chieftain’s Glen Elgin 9 Year (2008)

Distillery: Glen Elgin

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46%

Age: 9 Year, Distilled in Nov 2008, Bottled in Sept 2018, Cask # 800402

Price: $14 for a dram

Color: 0.5, yellow gold. Non-Chill Filtered, Natural Color.

Nose: Pineapple juice and a slight bit of fresh cut hay. It really prickles the nose quite a bit.

Palate: The main note in here is barley and I’m not talking about the sweetness that comes from malt barley. I’m talking about roasted barley, the flavor you’ll find in the Korean staple roasted barley tea/보리차. It’s the that toasted, almost nutty flavor that distinctly comes from roasted barley along with that slight tinge of sweetness as well. There’s a sharp bit of pineapple as well followed by a lovely bit of caramel on the tail end. Some creaminess comes out after you add in a bit of water.

Finish: It’s really short, it almost vanishes. It is, however, incredibly hot for the few milliseconds it’s there with a hint of brown sugar. It does leave a bit of an acetone-like aftertaste though, which wasn’t pleasant at all.

Conclusion: I can’t say I’ve ever even seen a Glen Elgin whisky before so I figured I’d try this one out. The nose is alright, nothing special and not particularly memorable. The palate, on the other hand, is rather different. While I’ve had plenty of whiskies with a very malt forward notes, this is the first one I’ve had where it was very distinctly roasted barley. It’s a flavor that I grew up with, as barley tea is incredibly common in Korean households, but not one I’d expected from a Scotch and it’s really nice especially with that bit of caramel in here as well. I feel like the pineapple in this didn’t work out as it’s a bit of an odd man out since it’s such a sharp note. The finish is borderline horrific. While the brown sugar is fine, it’s so hot and that acetone aftertaste is not pleasant at all. If this had sat in a cask for a little longer (it was two months away from being a ten year old!), perhaps the finish would’ve been a little more refined as it’s such a disappointment. Would I buy a bottle? Regrettably, probably not.

Final Score: 78.

Scotch whisky review #74, Speyside review #34, Whisky Network Review #97

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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