The original (smaller) Glenburgie was demolished in 2004 before being rebuilt with a swap from a pair of Lomond stills to three pairs of onion stills. Long a blending component for Ballantine’s, few OB’s have been issued outside of the Chivas Brothers Cask Strength and Distillery Reserve Collections. However, there’s plenty of IB’s out there (32 were bottled in 2018). This TWE exclusive Signatory has been matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead (#6585) for 23 years, before being bottled at 57.5% ABV. It's available from The Whisky Exchange for £120.
Nose: Bright, vibrant fruits and sugary, delectable pastries. Candied apple peels, raspberry pavlova with plenty of gooey meringue, a slice of mango and a cubed honey dew melon. Sweetness pushes through with sugar dusted crepes and choux buns, whilst sunflower oil and polished teak furniture reinforces some well-aged cask influence. Dilution adds pastry crusts and buttered bread whilst emphasising additional fruit elements – peach and apricot cobblers.
Taste: The arrival is juicy, unctuous and fruit-forward. Sugar-dipped ripe apples, freshly squeezed pear juice and peach yoghurt – part tart and peppy with sugar, part soft and chewy with creaminess. The mid-palate favours the cask more with developing white pepper, charred hogshead ends and nutmeg, whilst the back-palate reintroduces some sweetness with white chocolate and cocoa nibs. Reduction adds tartness with pink grapefruit, but also further fruitiness with peach schnapps and orange juice.
Finish: Quite long, with a combination of toasted and polished wood, fading apple sweetness and pleasantly piquant pepper.
The press information describes this Glenburgie as well-aged and elegant – it certainly is both of those things. Not only are the aromas and flavours, well-defined, they’re also sparkling and dynamic, delivering a wonderful balance between vivacious fruitiness and well-judged oak influence. Whilst lovely at 57.5%, this works just as well with a touch of water, where additional fruit components are unlocked and added into the mix. Wonderfully summery stuff.
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