Signatory Vintage: Glen Albyn: 1978 (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: 24 Year: 43% ABV)
Visual: Pale gold. Hazy with water.
Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.
Nose: Heather. Vanilla. Very smooth. Light smoke and coal dust. White chunks in tropical fruit tins. Pencil shavings. Water makes more dusty.
Body: Smooth. Oak. Vanilla. Light alcohol if left on tongue. Peppery. Water releases light glacier cherry and tropical fruit. White chocolate and light honey with an alcohol back. More water adds lime and toffee.
Finish: oak. Coal dust breathed in. Peppery. White chocolate. Light sulphur. Orange zest. Water adds tropical fruit tines and soft alcohol tingle. Slightly oily and honey notes.
Conclusion: Hmm, first impressions on this were exceedingly average, if anything can be such a thing. It was the very basic set of highland notes such as heather, obvious vanilla and such like. Very well delivered admittedly, smooth as can be, but since it is 24 years old that should go without saying. I was disappointed – it was slightly peppery and oaken – not bad notes but there was nothing stand out to recommend it for.
Water helps. Though I get the feeling the base spirit is quite neutral as what is brought out is a fine exhibition of the effects of bourbon barrel ageing. There is vanilla, white chocolate, tropical fruits – all very clean and smoothly delivered – with glacier cherries as sweet high notes. The base whisky just seems to add a light oily character to it for grip.
With water it does goes down a tropical fruit treat – however – best I can tell most of that is the clean delivery of the barrel ageing, and at the high cost for a dead distillery I cannot recommend it for that. It just delivers little unique to itself. However, that said, I am very much enjoying the show of the oak for what it is.
A very clean, smooth, whisky that lets the oak run wild. Glad I got to try it, but not worth dead distillery costs.
Background: I’ve been saving this one for a special occasion. Closed since 1983, the bottlings tend to only go up in price, so I grabbed one when I could, I kept it in the cupboard for whenever I wanted something unusual. Anyway, drunk while listening to various of the Warren Ellis compiled Superburst mixtapes, which don’t seem to be online any more, and taking time to kick back and just chill. This is cask 697 and bottle 354 of 365.