The ‘non-Speyside’ whiskies from the recent Archives release are a Glentauchers 1996 and a Glen Keith 1992. Obviously both are from the Speyside region, but they aren’t marked as an undisclosed Speyside distillery.
Both are a bit weird in regards to how I feel towards the distillery. As in, I’ve had absolutely stunning Glen Keiths over the years, but the name never sticks with me so I never actually bought a bottle of anything. Glentauchers is a hit and miss distillery in my book, with more misses than hits, so that one never found its way on to my shelf either.
Glen Keith is one of those distilleries that has some great years and some forgettable ones. I think in this case the great years are 1992 and 1970. Obviously, the 1970 one have all come and gone, but were stunners. 1992 still sounds ‘young’, but is also 25 years ago by now.
Glentauchers 1996, 20yo, Barrel 7324, 53.9%, Archives (Fishes of Samoa)
It starts woody and green on the nose, with old plants (the stalks have become wood like, you know). There’s grass and hay, with a very light and dry feel to it. Some black pepper and bread crust. The palate is a bit more sweet than the nose, but still has some peppery heat. It’s light and quite sharp with grass, hay, plants, black pepper and oak. Gets dryer if you let it swim a bit, with a nice and spirity (in a good way) feel to it. The finish is warming and dry, with hay, ferns and woody plants.
Very different than most Glentauchers’ I remember, but also quite good. There are some definite wood based flavors in there, but there’s also a lot of spirit still making its way to the forefront. Good stuff!
Glen Keith 1992, 24yo, Barrel 120633, 59.7%, Archives (Fishes of Samoa)
The ABV makes itself known on the nose. An assault on the nostrils at first. This needs a couple of minutes to air out a bit. After some recovery I start getting oak, black pepper with lots of bourbon influence and vanilla. Quite sweet and rich with hints of sponge cake, cinnamon, clove. Almost like a Scottish bourbon. The palate is somewhat lighter with dry oak, bark and sawdust. Lots of spices and a hint of bitterness. An oaky bitterness that is, with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. The finish is less sharp with lots of spices again. Long, dry, slightly bitter.
Well, I expected this to be a vanilla heavy dram and that didn’t disappoint. A lot of great flavors are here for discovery and it all makes for a rather tremendous dram. A great pick from the guys at Whiskybase!
Of course, the whisky world wouldn’t be the whisky world as we know it if these were still available. Prices used to be 90 euros for the Glentauchers and 125 for the Glen Keith.
Thanks a million for the samples, Whiskybase!