Glenugie bottlings are incredibly hard to come by. While the distillery closed in 1983 like some 25 others there never was much of this to go around, far less than Port Ellen and Brora and the likes. And those two are also of the more rare kind of whisky than some others that closed.
The distillery has long since been demolished and in its spot now sits some kind of church and a vacant lot, with some houses around it (approximately).
I tried my first Glenugie at the Lochranza Hotel in 2010, on my first trip to Scotland, and was blown away by it. And by the vast dram I got for just five quid. I still regret not buying the rest of the bottle, since that 1968 one by Gordon & MacPhail was just plain awesome.
Since then I’ve managed to buy two bottles of Glenugie, of which one has been finished last year or so. That one was another 1980-2010 bottling from SMWS, the cask following this one (99.12 that would be). I traded a sample of that for a sample of this with Ben, who’s blog you’ve probably seen by now since I’ve been linking to it a lot.
This bottle comes from refill bourbon hoggie, which doesn’t say much but probably lets the spirit speak loudest. Let’s dive in.
Old and overripe fruit, with an almost cloying sweetness. Lots of good oak, but not overpowering in any way. Lots of furniture polish and leather. The fruity scents are like mango peel, brown banana and there’s a hint of walnut. Lots and lots of aromas. Sweet bread, like a brioche. It’s heavy, fruity and feinty.
The finish mellows very quickly, but that’s not too surprising with only 43.4% alcohol in here. It is of medium length, and fruity and feinty. Exactly as expected.
This is a very interesting dram. One I wouldn’t regret owning a bottle of and drinking it with pleasure. It is, however, slightly less complex and enticing as the 99.12 with the flavors being more bold, in your face and heavy.
I do love the combination of heavy fruits and the feinty hints of leather and polish. It makes for a nice combination of flavors and for something you don’t come across every day. A gorgeous whisky, but just shy of greatness.
Glenugie 1980-2010, 29yo, 43.4%, SMWS, 99.11 Tickled by ‘monstera deliciosa’.
It used to be around £ 75 according to WhiskyBase, but expect to pay much more now. Last November it auctioned in the UK for £ 325