Inchgower 1985-2005, 20yo, 60.8% – Usquebaugh Society

A few years ago when I was still a member of the Usquebaugh Society, a few of the older club bottlings popped up at some whisky shops in The Netherlands. There was a Clynelish, I believe a Caol Ila (which I didn’t buy) and this Inchgower from the mid-eighties.

With a 20 year old Inchgower, from a period of good Inchgower popped up at a reasonable price, I bit the bullet and bought the bottle. Of course, when I opened it I shared about half of it, after which I started slowly sipping away at the remainder.

It was one of those weird bottlings that have to grow on you a little bit. It’s ridiculously strong, which I consider something to be a weary of. Also, it just didn’t do much initially. However, as things progressed and the bottle got emptier and emptier, I started liking it more and more. And no, this wasn’t on one evening where I was getting more drunk.

Just before I had the last sip I decided to do a quick review and tasting notes, so here it goes!

Sniff:
Lots of barley, barley sugars, with quite a lot of oak. Toffee and fudge, with caramel apples, cinnamon and other baking spices.

Sip:
Sharp, and drier than expected. Barley, oak, toffee and fudge. Baked apple, ontbijtkoek, baking spices.

Swallow:
Dry and very warming, but the sharpness is gone fast. Still rich with caramel, barley sugars and toffee.

While it does have its charm, I think the cask was a very lazy one. The insanely high ABV is an indicator of that as well. Surprisingly there was quite a lot of oak on the nose and palate, but somehow it hasn’t tamed the whisky much, or given it a bit more complexity.

So, a very straight forward dram that is saved a little bit by the baked apple and toffee notes, but otherwise is of not much interest.

85/100

Inchgower 20yo, 26/06/1985 – 16/08/2005, 250 bottles from cask 5633, 60.8%

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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