Douglas Laing’s Xtra Old Particular Glenburgie 40 Year (1980)

Scotch Whisky Review #450: Douglas Laing’s Xtra Old Particular Glenburgie 40 Year (1980)

Distillery: Glenburgie.

Bottler: Douglas Laing.

Region: Speyside.

Age: Distilled in November of 1980 and bottled in June of 2021.

ABV: 40.8% Cask Strength.

Color: 1.1, Burnished.

This dram is the twenty-fifth of 2022’s Christmas Countdown! Whiskies from previous years can be found here.

Every year, I look at the advent calendar offerings that pop up across the pond and think that it would be super cool to do something like that (it is actually the inspiration for my review spree in December). Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to do one so between /u/federalagents, /u/DangerousDoorknob, and I we put our own together! This is the twenty-fourth dram of the calendar.

Nose: Overall it is really fruity with a lot of tart notes and a ton of wax. The wax is in the form of waxy lemon rinds. Calamansi, golden kiwi, lychee, and guanabana add to the fruity notes and contribute loads of tartness. There is a slightly earthier note of sarsaparilla along with a smidge of mint. Cucumber dill sandwiches also come through.

Palate: The mouthfeel has an almost smoky element here, it certainly isn’t smoke but it almost feels like it is. It has a bite and heft that reminds me heavily of a very smoky whisky (or cocktail) for mouthfeel but the smoke itself isn’t there. If I were to put on /u/the_muskox‘s SMWS naming hat, I might call it the “Memory of smoke”. Flavor wise, it is a bit more earthy than the palate. /u/b1uepenguin

described the earthiness as “root beer but not as sweet” and I’d definitely agree with that description. Waxy fruit notes are also big here. A tropical fruit juice box and some watermelon rind warp things up.

Finish: Quite long. Chocolate is the only note here. It is a very milky, very sugary chocolate. Somewhere between hot chocolate and Cocoa Pebbles.

Conclusion: For the last dram of our advent calendar, we have this extremely well aged Glenburgie. Talk about a complex dram though, this one seems to have it all. It starts out as a super fruity whisky with a side of wax and veggies before moving on to a fun mix of earthy, veggie, and waxy and eventually landing on chocolate for the home stretch. The mouth feel even adds another layer of complexity on top of that with that almost-smoke feel going on. Even if I had the luxury to, I doubt this Glenburgie is one I would enjoy every day but for when you want something to really dig into and think about hard? This has got to be it as this is easily one of the most complex and interesting drams I’ve ever had. Merry Christmas everyone!

Final Score: 93.

Scotch Whisky Review #450, Speyside Review #161, Whisky Network Review #607

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and 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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