Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two Old Glens: Glen Keith 1965 and Glenugie 1977

It's been a while and this entry has been slightly overdue with the introduction of the Glen Keith 1965 as one of August's 1965 vintages. Pairing up with the 1965 Glen Keith is another old(ish) whisky from another closed distillery, Glenugie. So here's the low down on the two whiskies...

Name: Glen Keith 1965 Gordon & Macphail Connoisseur's Choice
Distillery: Glen Keith (Speyside)
Type: Single Malt Scotch
Age Statement: Nil
Bottler: Gordon & Macphail
Alc/Vol: 40%

For those who aren't familiar with Glen Keith, it is one of the distilleries in the bustling Speyside region, located near the town of Keith where it gets its name from. Unfortunately for the distillery, it was mothballed by current owners Chivas Brothers/Pernod Ricard in 1999. This means there is still hope that the distillery may open again, but for now Glen Keith's whiskies will be ever dwindling. 

Nose: Beeswax (very very waxy), fresh honey, some warm cinnamon, salt and fresh fruit notes of apple and pear. Interesting, light and fresh (22)

Taste/Palate: Fresh with a hint of malt and cured meat. Then it becomes very oaky and dry with notes of bitterness. (20)

Finish: Intense notes of licorice build up, with a lingering bitterness and slight hints of the fruit coming up again on the finish. The bitterness is a bit too strong though (20)

Overall: A good dram to try out if one wants to know more of Glen Keith, though the bitterness is a bit too strong for me overall (20) 82/100

Found at: Auld Alliance

Now let's turn our attentions to an even more lesser known distillery, Glenugie

Name: Glenugie 33YO 
Distillery: Glenugie (Highlands)
Type: Single Cask Single Malt Scotch
Age Statement: 33YO
Bottle No: 105/577
Vintage: 20/12/1977
Bottler: Signatory Village
Alc/Vol: 58.1%

The distillery of Glenugie has made a name for itself as a hidden and little known gem in the whisky world. Closed in 1983, its history was littered with periods of closure and ownership changes. Nevertheless, the whisky that came out of this distillery has been lauded for its high quality. The quality of the whisky has even led Serge Valentin of Whiskyfun to name Glenugie as one of his highest ranked distilleries. This particular old Glenugie was distilled in 1977, during its last period of operation, and it was actually finished in Oloroso sherry casks for a whopping 84 months! That's a 7 year finishing period, which is extremely long. Let's see how this baby tastes

Nose: Really rich and full. Notes of red fruits, strong sweet English Breakfast Tea. Apple juice, caramel and chocolate and some even stronger black tea. Great stuff! (22)

Taste/Palate: Rich and Oily entry with notes of bitter cocoa on creamy chocolate like Royce chocolate. Mid palate it is extremely sweet with notes of chocolate mousse, red fruits and sweet cream. Lovely and pleasantly complex (23)

Finish: Long and extremely pleasant. Sweet and slight fruity with notes of apple rose tea and rose syrup. Great stuff! (22)

Overall: A great whisky that does prove that Glenugie is one worth sourcing out for. Quite strong though! (22) 89/100

Found at: Auld Alliance


  1. The Cask Strength Collection from Signatory is pretty amazing. Not had a bad whisky from that range yet. I picked up a couple bottles of the Ledaig 2004 from La Maison, not bad for a 10 year old. Only 576 bottles from a 1st Fill Sherry butt @ 61.6%. Ill hunt for the Glenugie based on your recommendation!

  2. Glen Keith 1965 Gordon & Macphail Connoisseur's Choice could be my choice. Because I don't like whiskey with chocolaty taste.