Google Angus picks Glenesk

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

January 5, 2018


The Whiskyfun general
annual meeting
(that would be just Angus and yours truly)

Session 6, Angus picks… Glenesk!

Glenesk! What could you say about Glenesk, or even about Glen Esk! Could often be austere and a bit difficult, but it’s gotten very rare… Many have been very good, but very few have been exceptional in our experience.

Glenesk 1980/2014 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Rare Old, batch #R0/14/04)

Glenesk 1980/2014 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Rare Old, batch #R0/14/04) Three stars Colour: light gold. Nose: very grassy indeed, quite austere indeed, with only a bit of honey on buttered toast and some kind of flints and white flowers. Cut grass. A little barley water… In short a quite simple and straightforward nose. But it’s quite rare… Mouth: some good malty sweetness, a little plain perhaps, with touches of citrons and lemons, also fresh brown bread, hints of lemon curd… Still austere, and slightly tough. Sometimes you have to rack your brain and even that doesn’t work… Perhaps leaves? Branches? Bark? Moss? A bit difficult in all honesty… Finish: medium, grassy, with a little olive oil, candy sugar, more assorted citrus notes, and… cornflakes, perhaps? Some grass for sure. Barley sugar, banana skins… Comments: nice whisky but rather a challenge. Not the most characterful Highlander ever… But yeah, it’s good. And rare, by the way, did we tell you it was rare? SGP:341 – 82 points (Angus 82).

We may need a little more action. No other Glenesk in the library, but perhaps another long-closed name would work… Perhaps our faithful Coleburn?

Coleburn-Glenlivet 17 yo 1978/1995 (62%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection)

Coleburn-Glenlivet 17 yo 1978/1995 (62%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) Two stars and a half Rocket fuel?... Colour: white wine. Nose: brutal! Raw gravel and cactus juices, says Angus. More minerals than in a mineral mine, Schweppes, quinine, concrete… It’s hard to pick anything… Ink, maybe? Scrunch newspapers? The Daily Mail? With water: more lemon juice and white flowers, almost a little bit of wood glue, brake fluid, some herbs… Pff…. Mouth (neat): grass, asparagus, and concentrated lemon juice, plus paint and paint thinner (which does come in handy). A brutal whisky indeed, an onslaught of a dram. With water: more sweetness comes out, but it’s all very barleyish, with only notes of lemonade and, perhaps sugar syrup and crushed green bananas. Finish: rather long but narrow, citric, grassy… The good news is that it provides its own aspirin. So indeed, aspirin. And carbon paper, almost. Comments: tough baby. The epitome of an austere whisky, but Angus enjoys it more than the Glenesk, because of this brutal character. And he would add that brutality is better than no character at all (in whisky if not in humans). SGP:361 – 78 points (Angus 82).

And since nothing is impossible to willing hearts…

Coleburn-Glenlivet 19 yo 1978/1998 (59.1%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection)

Coleburn-Glenlivet 19 yo 1978/1998 (59.1%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) Three stars Colour: straw. Nose: again this sort of slightly painty character, with chalk and paint and glue and that sort of stuff. Porridge… With water: pepper, damp cardboard, pine needles, earth… Waxed jackets… Mouth (neat): a little better, with more oranges (oranges would save many a wrecked dram), orange diluting juice, pine-y resin, air freshener almost (pine, of course), some mustard seeds, and lanolin. Better than the 17, but still a brute. With water: even better. Some malty and pine-y porridge plus slices of bananas and a sharp grapefruitiness. Finish: long bit a little more savoury and slightly brighter than the previous one. Comments: not all whiskies were better in the old days – now we’ve had some excellent Coleburns as well. SGP:361 - 80 points (Angus 82).






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