Inchgower 1982-2011, 29yo, 54.6% – Duncan Taylor

Ah, Inchgower 1982. A whisky that got popular because a lot of it tastes like Clynelish from the same era. At least, in my circles that’s what it’s famous for. It is also why I bought this bottle a year or two ago. But now, after quite a lot of ‘tasting’ it is time to review it, and get the tail end of the bottle out of the way. 

Duncan Taylor then. I’m not entirely sure how it is abroad, but in my circles (both physical and offline) Duncan Taylor is a bottler that is all but forgotten. A few years ago I got some samples from them and I think that’s the last I’ve heard from them. And I mean that mostly in a ‘all about releases’ way. Did they run out of casks, or are they just no longer marketing in the ‘circles’ that I’m in?

Anyway, the whisky then.

Even after almost three decades of aging, it’s fairly green, with ferns and moss and blocks of slate in a creek. In short, foresty. After that there’s some malt and malt sugar, a bit of white oak and icing sugar. A spirity sharpness keeps the cask at bay, which is something that I like.

The palate is pretty sharp, with alcohol (and the heat thereof) being more forward than I expected. It’s malty and slightly fruity with apples, white grapes and starfruit. After a while there’s some black pepper in the mix, and chilis too. Not a lot, but just a sharp edge. Barley, sugary and some oak flavors too.

The finish is weird, compared to the palate. There’s suddenly a lot more ‘mature’ flavors happening with some old leather and furniture polish. It kind of straightens this whisky out a bit. A fairly long finish that forgets about the fruitiness from before, and the moss and ferns. Instead it goes for the wood, malt, older style.

Well, as with all glassses I’ve poured from this bottle, it’s a bit weird. It clearly shows two faces. At first, there’s a spirit driven dram that doesn’t show any way of letting go of that character, even after twentynine years of aging. Then you get to the finish and it shows it’s other cheek.

This is mostly the reason that I never fell in love with this dram, even though it has lots of things to discover and sit down for. However, it does feel very inconsistent and out of balance. Strangely, though, now that I’m properly sitting down for it, it start growing on me. For the first time, right before I finish it.


Inchgower 29yo, 1982-2011, Oak cask #6974, 54.6%, Duncan Taylor Rare Auld.


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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