For a moment there it seemed Glen Keith would’ve been added to the annals of Scotch whisky history, when it was mothballed by Seagrams. David Stirk of the Creative Whisky Company even included a single cask Glen Keith in his acclaimed Tony Koehl Series, a quartet of whiskies from closed distilleries completed by Imperial, Littlemill and Caperdonich.
The distillery was mothballed in 1999 and only reopened in 2013 under new ownership after a complete refurbishment. There’ve been really good early 1990s vintages from indie bottlers since, such as this great example by Whisky-Fässle. These types of releases have always made me believe there’s a lot of potential in Glen Keith. Most of the distillery’s output goes towards blends like Chivas, but the malt whisky can really hold its own and given the opportunity could make some waves.
The opportunity simply wasn’t given in the past. That changed last year though, when Chivas launched the Secret Speyside Collection to showcase some of their lesser-known distilleries, including Glen Keith. There’ve been three expressions, ranging from 21 to 28 years old. A few years earlier the Glen Keith Distillery Edition was already put to market. Far from as exclusive and expensive as the new Secret Speyside Collection, this NAS release sets you back just over 30 euro.
Glen Keith Distillery Edition (40%, OB, 2020)
Nose: Sweet vanilla sugar, toffee and soft fruits. Hints of mango, berries and breakfast tea. Taste: Arrival is just as sweet as the nose. Lots of vanilla, some honey, a touch of bitter tea and an assortment of oak spices. Finish: Lingering spices and a touch of menthol. Medium in length.
A very straight-forward, easy sipping single malt at an affordable price point. If you’re looking for something in this price range, the Glen Keith Distillery Edition wouldn’t be a bad choice.