Glenburgie 1990-2003, 57.9% – Gordon & MacPhail Reserve

It’s a bit strange how I decide to purchase some whiskies. Generally, I buy with a purpose, at least the last couple of years. I want something from a specific distillery, or a specific age. Sometimes after tasting it at an event I buy something I normally wouldn’t.

When I started my whisky hobby about a decade ago I didn’t know anything about brands I liked or disliked. I didn’t know about casks, ages, styles or anything. Back then, I just bought whichever whisky I deemed interesting. Based on how the bottle (and the liquid inside of that bottle) looked.

While I had some doozies that turned me off certain brands, I also had some crackers that I would not purchase blind in my current state of affairs.

With the Usquebaugh Society we like to carpool. When an event is someways away, we try to go there with as full a car as possible. Also, it became an unwritten rule that you bring a sample of whisky for the driver. In April, when we went to our club bottling selection event in Arnhem I picked up SJ in Uitgeest and we went south. He dropped a bottle with a heel of this Glenburgie under the seat.

This is one of those whiskies that I would not normally buy. Glenburgie is completely off my radar. So much so that I don’t even know the style of whisky they produce, apart from the fact that it generally goes into blends. Blendfodder.

But, I like tasting things that I don’t know as much as I like enjoying the bottles I already know. Even if the tasting of a new whisky ends up with me pouring the whisky down the drain, I enjoy the experience.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

The whisky smells lightly cheesy, but with lots of sherry. Surprisingly light on the oak. Fatty with some Indian curry spices, and waxy. Quite waxy indeed. Some wood spices too.

The palate is sherried and waxy. Quite so on both accounts. There’s oak and chili pepper, cracked black pepper. It’s also slightly fruity with a hint of ginger. Quite sharp, fatty and with hints of candles.

The finish is long with lots of sherry and oak, wax, candles. Some banana suddenly and the pepper and wood spices are back too. Toasted oak.

This is a sherried dram. It leaves enough room for the more whisky oriented scents and flavors, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say the distillery character is detectable. Nonetheless it is a rather tasty dram. Quite wintry, with big and heavy flavors.

It’s one of those drams that is incredibly random when you encounter it in the shop, but I can’t imagine anyone regretting buying this. Unless you were going for a bourbon cask or lighter flavors, but then picking a bottle like this is quite stupid.

Glenburgie 1990-2003, 57.9%, Gordon & MacPhail Reserve, Sherry cask 12510.

Thanks to SJ for the sample.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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