Glen Elgin 1997 20 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
So far this week I’ve tried a wine finished Caol Ila and a naked Glen Spey, both from the new Connoisseurs Choice range from Gordon & MacPhail. Now it is time for a cask strength version, more specifically a Glen Elgin 1997 20 Years Old from a first-fill sherry butt.
Glen Elgin is revered by blenders, and certainly most of its production end up in a variety of blended whiskies from Diageo. Those casks that do end up being bottled as single malt, tend to be quite excellent. I don’t doubt that if Diageo wanted, it could easily promote Glen Elgin as a single malt. With long fermentation times and the use of worm tubs, its spirit is simply that good.
Glen Elgin 1997 20 Years Old (55,7%, Gordon & MacPhail, C#18/003)
Nose: Sweet orange liqueur with a whisper of paint thinner (in a good way), before moving on to raisins, cherry syrup and blackcurrants. A good amount of cocoa powder and oak, with hints coffee and burnt caramel. This is delicious!
Taste: It’s that same mix of dark fruits, European oak and and roasted coffee. Really, it perfectly complements the nose, as there is a touch of menthol here too.
Finish: Lingering spices and chocolate.
Maybe it should’ve been a tad more polished, but I simply like this Glen Elgin too much for it not to reach the 90 point barrier. Like a richer version of this official bottling from a while ago. I might need to get myself a bottle. Man, that wish list is getting out of hand.
Sample provided by Gordon & MacPhail
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.