Glen Elgin 1986 32 Years Old (Signatory Vintage)
Glen Elgin is one those distilleries that I feel deserves a lot more attention, but Diageo does not give Glen Elgin any priority whatsoever. Which is understandable, because they have many other great distilleries in their stable, and there’s only so many you can promote as a single malt. It is a shame though.
I have fond memories of the 16-year-old limited edition Glen Elgin that was released over a decade ago. Then there’s the standard 12-year-old expression. And less than two years ago Diageo released an 18-year-old Special Release, which I’ve yet to taste. But that’s about it in terms of official releases. Once again, I’m forced to turn to independent bottlers. Not that I mind.
Vinothek Massen, a store in Luxembourg, selected a 32-year-old Glen Elgin from the warehouses of Signatory Vintage, and bottled it exclusively for their shop. If I remember correctly, this was about 140 euro? I believe I’m right, yeah. Couldn’t have been more than 170 euro. That’s a great price for such a mature single malt.
Despite its fair price, I didn’t buy a bottle for myself, mind you. I would’ve, if my funds were unlimited. But they aren’t, so I decided to skip this release. I did manage to procure a sample via a whisky buddy. Let’s hope I don’t come to regret my decision.
Glen Elgin 1986 32 Years Old (44.4%, Signatory Vintage, C#2524)
Nose: Quite herbacious. There’s hints of menthol, but also of oak shavings and dried summer fruits, as well as melon and lemon zest, followed by some floral notes. Elegant and complex, with a slight minerality.
Taste: Nice sweet and fruity juice with a hint of grapefruit bitterness. Pineapple comes to mind. Whispers of oak shavings and resin, becoming just slightly too tannic.
Finish: Lingering wood spices evolving into soft orchard fruit.
Probably bottled a few years too late, this is nonetheless still an impressive whisky, showcasing its maturity through its elegance and subtleties.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.