Girvan 30

Girvan: 30 year (Scottish Single Grain Whisky: 30 years: 42.6% ABV)

Visual: Light gold.

Viscosity: Thin fast streaks.

Nose: Shredded wheat. Butter. Crumpets. Sugar dusting. Dried apricot and subtle dried dates. Dried banana. Marshmallows. Water brings out passion fruit.

Body: Vanilla pods. Banana. Pear drops. Toasted teacakes. White chocolate. Oily touch. Creamy. Water adds passion fruit, lychee and apricot.

Finish: Butterscotch. Mango. Light oak. Malt drinks. Toast. Truffle oil. Jolly ranchers. Water adds lychee and choc orange.

Conclusion: This is very a nice, very smooth whisky. It has the light fruity notes that seem to be Girvan’s style – with the creamy and smooth texture – but here it has a gentle toasted base that really helps the other flavours stand out.

Of all the Girvan whiskies I have tried this is the most open to contemplation – There is such subtle fruit, both yellow and orange, all very gentle rather than sparkling. Gentle sweetness in the form of marshmallow and vanilla. because it is so gentle it doesn’t hit you instantly instead building up over time, and despite the gentle character it still manages to grip well. You do not replace your previous sip each time so much as add another layer to it.

It feels odd that such an old a delicate whisky would need a few drops of water to open it up, but so it actually is. Water adds even more subtle fruit in lychee style – at this point it goes from good to a brilliantly complex whisky, without giving up the easy to drink characteristics.

Treating it as an easy drinking whisky wont give you the full experience though. You really need time and patience to get the full experience. It hits its peak about half way through a measure, which is both a strength and a weakness depending upon how you look at it.

For downsides, well there is a slight alcohol and not quite perfectly matched oak note in the finish – I guess all that time in the oak has made it just slightly over dry at the end. Apart from that, very impressive. Even better, when returning to it to try at home I found slightly different notes to those tried on the trip, so it keeps giving over time. Typical, my favourite is the one I am least likely to be able to afford. very good whisky though.

Background: Ok, you all know the drill by now. Full disclosure – Girvan paid for flight, etc so I could tour their distillery, gave me whisky there, and have sent me some whisky to do notes on. This is the final one – the thirty year old, and one from the last year that they used maize to make the spirit. little touches like that always fascinate me. Drunk while listening to some tracks from LukHash – I’ve been playing a free bullet hell shooter called “Jigoku Kisetsukan Sense of the Seasons” and some of the soundtrack is from that artist. Retro style music for some old whisky, a perfect match, no?