For today’s reviews we’re heading to Diageo owned distillery Glen Elgin, looking at two IB releases.
Adelphi Glen Elgin 16yo Cask #802272
Distilled in 2006, and matured in a bourbon cask for 16 years before being bottled in 2022. 290 bottles were released
We're finding abundance of citrus straight off - lots of lemon zest and juice along with some sugar coated orange slices. We're also finding custard cream biscuits, floral lilies, a touch of wood varnish and pear drops. The alcohol feels nicely integrated with the spirit and the nose is quite pleasant. albeit not super complex. Air reveals fresh vanilla pods and honeydew melon.
An effervescent beginning with more of that lemon, white pepper and caramel sauce as the palate develops. The alcohol is a little punchy, but not overwhelmingly so. There's custard doughnuts, warm lemon sponge cake with sugar crystals on top and warm oak flavours coming through. The mouthfeel is fine, not overly textured but not thin either. The finish lingers for a good while, with brandy snaps, ginger biscuits and black pepper.
Nose (with water)
Reduction brings out more of a dry oak aroma that takes over the nose almost entirely. There's a slight mustiness now, honey nut cheerios and some green apple in the background. With more air we're starting to find those citrus aromas appearing again, but overall it's more woody and musty with water.
Palate (with water)
We're finding it very sweet on the initial palate now, a lot of icing sugar, candied almonds and slightly sour apple sweeties. Behind this we're finding it a lot drier than before, bitter oak and orange pith. It’s overly bitter now, and would avoid the addition of water, it's not needed.
Breakfast whisky. It's sweet and sour with good balance, but still feels more youthful than it should for the 16 years it spent in the cask. It's very drinkable and one that most will find pleasant, but it's not particularly exciting for us. We're somewhere between a 6.5 and 7 out of 10, but we'll settle on 6.5/10.
Fable Chapter Seven Glen Elgin 7yo Cask #800406
This release was distilled in 2014, and matured in bourbon hogshead for seven years before being bottled in 2021. 296 bottles were released.
Herbal, drying wood, crystalised honey, green peppers. It's.. funky. Behind this we're finding orchard fruits, the peel from a granny smith apple, earthy pear skin, pebbles and grape must. It's surprisingly light on alcohol spice for the 61% ABV. Air reveals lime zest, melon and a light hint of cinnamon spice right in the background.
The palate begins with overwhelming heat, there's a considerable amount of alcohol right off the bat. It follows into a combination of apples and pears with a pot of honey to dip them in on the side. There's a strong herbal note that lingers throughout the whole palate, giving a real savoury, earthy flavour which admittedly isn't our favourite. The mouthfeel is relatively thin, there's not much there at all, however the finish does have a good length ending on custard buns and dry oak.
Nose (with water)
Slightly off meat, cardamom, flint and petrol. The funk's gone out of control. Wood varnish, white wine vinegar and sage stuffing. It's just a bit weird now. Behind all that there's still some of the classic vanilla bourbon cask aromas, but they're quite well hidden.
Palate (with water)
Sour, oh so sour. More of that white wine vinegar from the reduced nose as well as an overly bitter and woody mid palate/finish. There's more of the herbal aromas with green peppers right at the forefront, following into slightly sweet shortbread.
It's... fine. It's got some funky, earthy, woody flavours and aromas which could be interesting for some but don't really sit well with our palates. It's youthful with spicy alcohol, although not as much as we anticipated. We'd avoid adding water unless you're really into the funk. There are better drams to spend your money on in our opinion.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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