Review: Glenburgie 21 (Gordon & MacPhail)


Glenburgie DistilleryGlenburgie distillery was founded in 1810 as Kilnflat distillery by William Paul. Production did not begin until twenty years later for some reason. The distillery used to produce Glencraig whisky in addition to Glenburgie. The distillery was closed down in 1870, but was revived by Charles Kay in 1878. In 1890 the distillery was expanded and in 1936 it was acquired by Hiram Walker. Glenburgie’s whisky was mainly used in the popular Ballantine’s blend and it was rare to see it in single malt form. That still holds true today even though the distillery is owned by Pernod Ricard. The distillery also had a pair of Lomond stills for a period of roughly twenty years. Whisky distilled from these stills were sold under the name “Glencraig.” These stills were removed in 1981 and if you’re able to find a bottle of Glencraig, then consider yourself very lucky. The Glenburgie I’m reviewing today is 21 years old and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail. It’s chill-filtered and bottled at a very palatable 43% ABV.

Tasting Notes

Glenburgie 21 G&MNose: sherry, grapes, cherries, dark chocolate, almonds, ripe strawberries, lime

Mouth: lime, cherries, peppery, grape jam, rich sherry, full bodied

Finish: light spice, lingering sherry sweetness, dark chocolate, oaky

Score: 88/100

Verdict: This whisky smells very good, especially if you like sherried malts. On the nose there’s a great initial burst of red fruits (strawberries, cherries, grapes) complemented with dark chocolate. It kind of smells like chocolate covered strawberries. Upon further inspection there’s some almond and lime notes as well. There’s a very strong sherry influence on palate. It’s replete with cherries, grape jam and rich sherry flavors. This is a very full bodied malt and the sweetness is balanced by some citrus. I wish I could sample this whisky at higher proof because it’s probably has even more complexity. This whisky is watered down to 43% and it has sacrificed some complexity in favor of smoothness. That being said, this is still a great sherried malt. The finish is a bit oaky with some dark chocolate and lingering sherried sweetness. This is a really tasty whisky and will be enjoyed by sherry lovers.

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