Glenburgie 23, 1989-2012, Bourbon Barrel, 54.8% – Chester Whisky & Liqueur Company

Image from Whiskybase

I like old(er) Glenburgie. The last couple of years there have been quite some 20-ish years old releases that were very good. Lots of fruity scents and flavors, on top of a gently malty backbone.

Of course, those are all from the late nineties, because of math. But what happens when we backpedal another decade, and go for the same age bracket, but distilled and bottled 10 years earlier?

That’s what I tried to find out with this bottle I bought from MvZ. Of course, it was a bottle-share since the velocity of stuff coming in isn’t affordable on my own, so yesterday I sat down with my brother-in-law and we finished the bottle just after writing tasting notes.

Lots of malt, slightly austere with hints of iron and minerals and apple. Straw, toast, some licorice root, fresh ginger.

The palate packs much more punch than expected. Heaps of white pepper and chili flakes. More focused on the miberals, without the fruity apple that was there on the nose.

The finish is back to the malt. Lots of steeped barley, straw, toast and such. Still austere, but the slight fruitiness doesn’t return.

Of course, this is just a single example, and experiments with a sample size of one don’t count for anything, but this one is not like the others. This one doesn’t belong in the light and fruity bracket.

It’s a beater with lots of bone dry austerity. Iron, minerals, a minor note of apple. I’m not sure what was so different about this one, but it didn’t meet any of my expectations, and I honestly don’t like it a lot.

Generally I don’t mind austere whiskies, but in this case there’s not much to back it up. I would love for this to also have some fruitiness in addition to the iron-y notes. Bummer.



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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