Wemyss Malt “Winter Larder” Glen Elgin 20 Year (1991)

Scotch Whisky Review #217: Wemyss Malt “Winter Larder” Glen Elgin 20 Year (1991)

Distillery: Glen Elgin

Bottler: Wemyss Malt

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46%

Age: 20 year. Distilled in 1991, Bottled in August 2011.

Price: $150

Cask Type: Butt

Color: 1.7, Burnt Umber.


Nose (according to the wife): Oh it smells quite nice, she thinks it’ll be a tasty one. Buttery bread is up first along with a nice note of well ripened nectarines. There’s a deep note of old wood furniture joined by a hint of sea breeze and a hint of sherry.

Palate: It’s very wood forward, which is not something I’m used to in a Scotch. There’s oak and sandalwood along with a nut mix of walnut, pecan, and brazil nuts. There are some bits of well broken-in leather. A hint of salt pops in here and there as well. All of this makes for a fairly dry whisky. It feels like I’m biting into something but I’m not exactly sure what that is.

Finish: Long. It remains dry even in the finish. There’s a lot of fruits here in rum raisins and well baked apples. The nutty notes make one last pass with sandalwood and that nut mix popping up again.

Conclusion: Whenever I see a whisky this dark, I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s going to be a massive sherry bomb. Talk about subverting expectations, but this whisky is anything but a sherry bomb. It’s quite nutty and has a pleasant amount of wood to it. The bits of salt that pop in here and there keep things from becoming too one dimensional and the fruit in the nose and finish are absolutely delicious. My one gripe with this is I wish there was a little more fruit in this. I think that it would go a long way in taking a bit of the edge off of the dryness and really elevate the whisky as a whole. It’s definitely not what I expected, but I’m still very pleasantly surprised.

Final Score: 82.

Scotch Whisky Review #217, Speyside Review #91, Whisky Network Review #323


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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