SMWS - G7.16 vs. G7.17 - Girvan Distillery


It’s a battle of the grains today as we pit SMWS G7.16 against SMWS G7.17. These single cask grain whiskies were both distilled on the same day but bottled one year apart, so we're excited to see the difference between them.

SMWS G7.16 - Girvan 28 year old

Region: Lowlands

ABV: 55.1%

Price: £105

After 26 years in bourbon, this was transferred to a new charred oak barrel for two years before being bottled at 55.1%.

Nose

We’re initially getting peaches, charcoal, and pineapple on the nose. Going back to it we’re also getting a note we can only describe as a Cuba Libré cocktail, with it some raisins, and a little chocolate.

Palate

Trying this we’re instantly reminded of a Passito di Pantelleria (a sweet wine from Italy). Alongside these notes there’s also stewed apples, ginger, and some custard. With a little air we also get cinnamon, and Thornton’s toffee. The finish on this is medium length with a little spice.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose shows more of the bourbon cask influence with vanilla, and honey appearing on her nose. They’re joined by a cough syrup note.

Palate (with water)

Water has add some maraschino cherries, but sadly the fruit and wine notes have been muted. The finish has also been shortened. Personally, we’d skip water in this one.

Conclusion

This is very good the only issue we had with it was the mouthfeel that was slightly lacking. If you can forgive that then you’ll be treated to a bunch of wonderful flavours. For us this is a solid 8/10.

Score: 8/10


SMWS G7.17 - Girvan 29 year old

Region: Lowland

ABV: 54.6%

Price: £105

This was matured in a bourbon barrel for 25 years before being transferred to a 24 month, air seasoned new oak barrel with a #4 level char and toasted heads. It was bottled at 29 years old.

Nose

Clear grain notes accentuated with Irn Bru, treacle, sticky toffee pudding and dates laced in syrup. There's some dark rum notes in the background, maybe a touch of malt loaf and some stewed apple with cinnamon.

Palate

Roasted pineapple coated in cinnamon sugar, deep treacle toffee, nicely balanced alcohol integrated with rum and raisin ice cream, fresh coffee and a touch of lightly charred oak. The spirit coats the mouth in a wonderful way, and the finish is incredibly long, sweet and fulfilling.

Nose (with water)

Orange peel, brown sugar and a little furniture polish. There's some light caramel, aged armagnac and charred wood.

Palate (with water)

Salted caramel drizzled over vanilla ice cream, some light lemon notes which balance with the sweetness very well. Alcohol is present and warming, but in a Christmas spice sort of way - Christmas pudding with flambe'd brandy.

Conclusion

The depth of flavour in this dram is incredible, there's so many deep, sweet, rich notes that just build and build on the nose and palate. We generally feel that grain whisky is overlooked and underrated, and this is a perfect example of a dram that most would be quick to dismiss. We’re rating this a 8.5/10, and giving it the win here.

Score: 8.5/10

  • 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.

Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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