I haven’t had any of the 3 distilleries below before, despite having minis/samples from them for a while now. decided to review them all together.
Glenburgie 10 Gordon & Macphail – 40%
This is a mini I bought in Scotland at a bottle shop in edinburgh. Since we were limited in our weight flying from scotland back to mainland europe, we went the route of buying a bunch of minis you can’t get in Canada vs larger bottles. I’m generally not a big fan of fruity speysides and that’s what I’m expecting here, but I’d never had a ‘burgie before and wanted to cross the distillery off the list. let’s see what Gordon & Macphails picked out here.
- Appearance: urine yellow. Coloured most likely
- Nose: honey, grassy , very floral. Bunch of apple, pear, some coriander. Bit leathery. Smells very speysidey.
- Palate: quite oaky, honey, caramel, some spices. Sulphuric, some light fruit and floral notes again. A lot more oak than I expected based on the nose. It’s actually better than I expected, and I usually don’t like sulpher.
- Finish: fairly short, oak, honey, spices
- Score: 81
this was a nice dram. Still pretty standard speyside/highland, but had a bit of character for sure.
Balblair 10 Gordon & Macphail – 43%
Got this one from the same bottle shop, also because I’d never had the distillery before. Again, not expecting much, but open to being surprised!
- Appearance: lighter than the ‘burgie. Looks more natural colour.
- Nose: sweet fruit, honey, caramel, brown sugar, sweet grass, very floral. I didn’t expect the highland to have the sweeter nose of the two. Slight hint of salt, which I guess makes sense since it’s coastal.
- Palate: not nearly as sweet as the nose again. More saltiness, decent amount of oak, spicy cinnamon, citrus, lemon peel, some honey and floral notes.
- Finish: medium length, some oak and slightly bitter.
- Score: 79
that bitter note I get from highlands always turns me off of them. The light saltiness is nice, but overall not as much going on here as in the glenburgie. Reminds me a bit of Glenmorangie 10. leaves something to be desired, and that something is better scotch.
Glen Grant 1996 Gordon & Macphail – 40%
It’s actually embarrassing how long I’ve had this sample. I got it from Connor Slack back 2 weeks shy of 2 years ago! the problem is, around that time I started trying to do multi-reviews with themes or connections between drams, and this one just didn’t fit with anything. Then when I reviewed the two above, I realized I’d never done a Glen Grant before either, so there’s the theme! let’s pop my glen grant cherry
- Appearance: very pale yellow straw. Definitely uncoloured.
- Nose: well, it’s in the same vein as the last two, but seems to have some more going on. Bunch of sherry on the nose, tons of fruit, lemon, sweet flowers, light oak, citrus,
- Palate: huh… well that palate is a let down. Very thin. This definitely needed more ABV. Some spice, oak, some citrus and other fruit. Fairly sweet, but kind of straightforward.
- Finish: short, some sweetness and then some woody bitterness. Fairly dry. Weird cucumber note in the long run.
- Score: 74
well, I wasn’t expecting something 15yrs old to be the worst of the bunch, but it was quite disappointing. The nose was nice, but the palate and finish didn’t deliver.