Glenburgie 2008 12 Years (Hart Brothers)
Young but with a dark colour, the Glenburgie 2008 12 Years from Hart Brothers fits a certain style of release that’s becoming more and more prevalent. Style over substance might be a good description. Or at least that’s the overwhelming feeling I get every time I see a youngster like this. Which might also tell you something about my own prejudices. In short, I’m highly sceptical whenever I see an unusually dark, youthful whisky.
That’s been a fair assumption at times, but a few months ago I was also pleasantly surprised by a Glenlossie from Càrn Mòr. Bottled at exactly the same age as today’s Glenburgie, it proved to be a great value for money whisky and a good alternative to some higher-end sherry matured single malts — like the Tamdhu 15 Years for instance. So yeah, I’ll try to leave my preconceptions at the door from now on. Which is actually why I ordered a sample of this Glenburgie at Whiskyhop Verhaar a few weeks ago. Matured in a first-fill sherry butt, this promises to be a sherry bomb.
Glenburgie 2008 12 Years (55.3%, Hart Brothers, 2020)
Nose: Clean, modern sherry profile yet not too sweet. Rather a tad drying. Cocoa powder, milk chocolate and hazelnuts but also a whisper of burlap and linseed oil. Finally a touch of fennel and mocha. Pretty enticing.
Taste: Somewhat reminiscent of Armagnac, this is dry and has some raw edges. Slightly resinous and with a whisper of allspice, but also sour cherries, varnish and ginger, with some notes of espresso.
Finish: Lingering spices and drying. Medium in length.
A little bit rough around the edges and overall too dry for my liking, this rates much higher on Whiskybase, although I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe this’ll do well diluted with some water. Certainly worth a try if you ever decide to buy this Glenburgie 2008 from Hart Brothers.
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.