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

Glen Keith 20 yo 1992/2013 Master of Malt Single Cask #120598 vs Glen Keith 20 yo 1995/2016 Douglas Laing Old particular #DL11169

Glen Keith is another ‘new’ distillery, if you just for a moment ignore the plethora of distilleries planned and opened this boom side of the 2010s. Construction started in 1957 and the first distillation took place in 1960, considering that recorded distillation had taken place in the area from the late 18th century, and unrecorded even earlier of course, this is indeed ‘new’.

 (whisky.com)

Seagram chose to build Glen Keith next to Strathisla, on the site of an older mill. It’s original purpose was to provide light bodied whisky for blends, and so it was given three stills for triple distillation – what’s that convention about the lowlands and triple distillation? This lasted till 1970, when two new stills were added and double distillation also commenced, with a further sixth still evening things out in 1983. But exactly when triple distillation stopped is another questions, certainly by 1983 is a safe bet, but it is said triple and double distillation did take place through the 70s.

(Stills are very interesting, positively onion-y wash still but tall and boil balls on the spirit still. Photo: Whisky.com)

Glen Keith was used as a bit of a test site for new ideas while under Seagram. Ideas like distillation with not peaty malt but peaty water brought in from Islay under the name Glenisla and Craigduff – though on this last point there seems to be some debate as to whether Craigduff was indeed distilled at Glen Keith or at Strathisla, with the owners in one camp and Signatory Vintage in the other.

Glen Keith was mothballed in 1999 after the ravages of time and toil took effect, but in 2001 the Chivas Brothers blend and it’s group of malts were acquired by Pernod Ricard, who dutifully renovated and reopened it in 2013 with a doubled capacity to quench this thirsty boom.

Glen Keith 20 yo 1992/2013 Master of Malt Single Cask #120598 53.3%

 Nose: Fresh and so natural, you can feel the malt barley here. Yeast, cut pears, lots of malt butter, green herbals like witnergreen and eucalyptus, and if you remember Singapore in the 90s you remember we had that chlorophyll candy – it’s name escapes me now. It’s a light bodied whisky with a cereal sweetness and a rather fresh green edge. Ex refill bourbon character is also prominent – light caramel, leather and oak.

 Palate: Tablespoons of  white pepper, chilli dust, green capsicums, shot of white hot flints, quite hot-spicy, no seriously, it’s quite the volcano. Pears and malt. Turns very dusty and acidic quite abruptly, and now really drying actually. Rather extreme this one. Dusty white pepper everywhere. Bourbon notes peek out at long last towards the finish.

 Finish: Medium short, malt dust, white heat, esters.

 

Glen Keith 20 yo 1995/2016 Douglas Laing Old particular #DL11169 51.5%

 Nose: Still light bodied and very natural but this one has much more flinty chalky minerals. Much more interesting.  I like to say this reminds me of some mineralled white wines. Acetone, pear eau de vie, hot white clay, the impression of light cream. A green edge remains – spinach, celery flaxseed oil, and also a ream of new paper.

 Palate: Yes lots of minerals, very chalky, and clean earthiness. Lots of healthy green notes, 5 a day in a glass. Good acidity and crispness. A certain appetite whetting umami character to it. A touch of camphor. All without obvious bourbon. This is really rather delicious.

 Finish: Long, minerals and flinty notes again, cutting bite and lip smacking. Good one.

 

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2017 by in Glen Keith and tagged .
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