Scotch Whisky Review #278: The Single Malts of Scotland Glenburgie 21 Year (1998)
Bottler: Elixir Distillers
Age: 21 year. Distilled October 8th, 1998. Bottled on November 1st, 2019.
Cask Type: Hogshead
Cask Number: 900896
Price: Sample courtesy of /u/monsieurzaccone
Color: 0.3, Pale Gold. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered
Nose: (according to the wife) Pretty fruity. Pineapples and white peaches are the biggest notes. There’s a syrup-y note of the syrup out of a can of peaches as well. A bit of grass along with a slightly herbal/vegetal and funky note that reminded her of Kombucha.
Palate: Juicy Fruit gum is the biggest note here at full strength. It’s like taking the first few bites of a new stick of gum before all the flavor is gone. There’s some toasted barley and a note that reminded me a lot of scorched rice (누룽지). With just a couple drops of water, the Juicy Fruit gum does shake out into distinctive fruit flavors. It’s quite tropical, actually. Bananas, pineapple, papaya, coconut (the flesh/meat, not the water), and mangosteen all present themselves. A little bit of fried plantain pops in as well as some more scored rice. It’s super, super light and gives off the feeling of something dancing on your tongue. With some more water, it turns into something that reminds me of lychee juice.
Finish: Quite short at full strength, with just a little bit of the scorched rice lingering. It gets a little longer with a few drops of water, with a note of banana joining scorched rice, but still fairly short. At the behest of /u/herr_maltenberg, I added a LOT of water to the last bit of this dram (as near 1:1 as my clumsy eyeballing could give off). A note that reminded me a lot of breathing in Cocoa Puff dust popped out, which was quite nice and surprising.
Conclusion: Earlier this week, someone remarked to me that I really needed to try Glenburgie. Having had this one, I’m left thinking “how have I ignored them for this long?”. If you like tropical fruit notes, this whisky absolutely takes you the a land overflowing with them. The first sip is an explosion of flavor that really reminds me of the first few bites of new stick of Juicy Fruit. With water, things loosen up and you can pick out some of the many fruits that come in and out. To keep things from getting too sweet, you get a slightly savory note of toasted barley and scorched rice. The nose and finish, at least the finish before drowning it in water, are a little bit of a let down but there’s a ton of flavor here anyway. The bit of chocolate cereal that comes out in the finish with a load of water is quite nice, though I wish it came out earlier as I think it would really elevate this dram to something near legendary.
Final Score: 89.
Scotch Whisky Review #278, Speyside Review #104, Whisky Network Review #421
- 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.