So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Mosstowie 34 yo 1979/2013 Signatory #1305 vs Glenury Royal 36 yo 1970/2006

Two old one, both gone but for different reasons.

Mosstowie is Miltonduff distilled in its Lomond stills – that’s a pot still base matched with a columnar neck in which three rectifying, swivelling plates have been installed. Exactly like how Hiram Walker did so at Glenbugie read more here. In Miltonduff’s case these were added in 1964. The idea was to have versatility in production but the result was more trouble than it was worth and the distillery went back to regular potstills since 1981.

Regular Miltonduff is the quiet workhorse and is known to be one of the larger blending distilleries – the blend? Ballantines. No regular core range, a slight trickle from the independents. This one is one not many know intimately despite its output.

Miltonduff Distillery (whiskystory.com)

Glenury Royal is closed and gone, it an Eastern Highlands distillery which like many in the region were closed through the 80s. Today the remnants of the distillery buildings are apartments, so this one is truly gone. Some notable dates: In 1965 the distillery was expanded and the number of stills doubled to four, just a few years earlier in 1962 the direct firing gave way to steam and a few years later in 1968 the floor maltings were gone. This whisky therefore was distilled in what must be a very modern distillery at that time.

One of the three distilleries to use ‘Royal’ as a prefix or suffix, and as with all three there is a story to it. The founder Captain Robert Barclay Allardice was something of a sports celebrity in his time, and due to his friendship with the King and his custom of the distillery was granted the use of the ‘Royal’ title. The owners of the distillery later created  the old blend King William IV which has a large constituent of Glenury Royal.

Glenuryroyaloldphoto (maltandoak.com)

Glenuryroyalplaque (scotchwhisky.com)


Mosstowie 34 yo 1979/2013 Signatory #1305 49.9%


Nose Nose: Clean, castile soap. Light touches of leather and clean cocoa butter. A rather light-medium style, certainly nowhere near heavy or thick. Ever smelt cream of tartar? It’s a powder to add while whipping egg whites. Drops of lemon oil. Getting more floral in not the most pleasant way, thankfully it’s all rather subdued. To it’s credit it does smell well aged and well knitted. Though it wouldn’t be my favourite sweater

Taste Palate: No it is actually quite flowery on the palate. You might like it if you like a floral malt, or perfume. Slightly musty too. Old cupboards. Still manageable however. Not the most cohesive, there’s some detergent, some lemon, some sugar, not really going anywhere though.

Finish Finish: Rather long, rather clean and ‘clean soapy’, and ascorbic.


Because the nose was not bad. Just not my kind of style.

Glenury Royal 36 yo 1970/2006 57.9%


Nose Nose: Lots of furniture wax, almond oil, dry cracking ancient wood, camphor. Touches of dried out vanilla pod (which is actually more fragrant-woody than sugar-sweet). Sprigs of long dried eucalyptus. Copper pans and an assortment of old waxes. Candied chestnuts and coffee cream. Maybe cinnamon powder. Wonderful nose, deep and expressive in a way only pure age can bring out, and very well ‘melded’, like a round beautiful thing instead of brash scents standing apart – which is a tell tale sign of rushed aging in many ‘woods’ but the spirit itself is immature.

Taste Palate: Some backbone! Rather spritely for a veritable grandpa – still quite zingy and spicy and refusing to be taken lying down. Dehydrated orange rinds. Lots of thick greases and waxes, a bit glassy even. And lots of little earthy notes. Bitter nuts matched with a host of overripe fruit,  and getting really dry. Cedar wood and incense. Again a winner, very expressive.

Finish Finish: Long and changing, becoming ‘cocktail bitters’, woody dry. Old citrus.


There is a Glenury Royal 50 yo in the same decanter series. With spirit like this, I don’t think 80 is a problem either. Bravissimo. Try it while you can.

One comment on “Mosstowie 34 yo 1979/2013 Signatory #1305 vs Glenury Royal 36 yo 1970/2006

  1. Carissa Hickling
    July 30, 2016

    Disappointing about the Mosstowie…

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2016 by in Glenury Royal, Miltonduff, Mosstowie and tagged , , .
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