I know Glenburgie as a whisky that, if matured in proper ex-bourbon casks, can provide a wonderfully fruity experience. My experience with sherry matured Glenburgies is limited, however. And I’ve never before tried one that has been finished in an octave cask.
Octave casks are small, roughly 50 liters in size. Using an octave means you’re looking to impart a lot of wood influence on a spirit in a very short time. In my experience, that’s usually not a good thing. One benefit it does bring, is that smaller retail outlets are able to buy a full cask, as an octave is obviously much cheaper than a 250 liter hogshead, let alone a 500 liter butt.
And that’s exactly what happens with a lot of these octave casks from Duncan Taylor. This Glenburgie 2008 6 Years Old was bottled for the Whisky & Cigar Salon in Gronau, a shop in Germany, close to the Dutch border, and close to where I live. This small cask still produced a total of 81 bottles.
Glenburgie 2008 6 Years Old (53,4%, Duncan Taylor, C#9410308)
Nose: Very sweet and candy-esque at first. Think cotton candy, candy canes and marshmallow, but also some bitter orange peel and almond spice. Rich chocolate after a little while. That octave cask certainly left an impression. Whispers of vanilla custard. Although, come to think of it, it is more of a loud conversation. Taste: Dry sherry notes, lots of dried fruits, with a spicy kick (pepper, cloves) and bit of cough syrup. Also vanilla… Finish: Dry and spicy. Medium in length.
While the wood influence is very noticeable, especially on the palate, which is pretty dry, this is an enjoyable dram. I don’t feel I get much of the fresh fruitiness that often embodies the Glenburgie spirit, but it is a pleasant drink in its own right.