Google Little Duos, today Glen Esk

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

May 19, 2022


Little Duos, today Glen Esk

Glen Esk a.k.a. Glenesk a.k.a. Hillside, in Montrose, closed in 1985, one of the mothers of VAT69 and one of the most obscure distilleries that 'they' have closed in the early-to-mid 1980s, after it's changed its name many times. Who remembers Glen Esk? Us! To think that there's even been some official Glenesk, such as a good 12 years old. On and even that it's been owned by Ben Nevis and Lochside owner Joseph Hobbs at some point. It has now become a malting plant.

Glen Esk

Glen Esk 26 yo 1974/2000 (52.7%, Signatory Vintage, cask #89, 238 bottles)

Glen Esk 26 yo 1974/2000 (52.7%, Signatory Vintage, cask #89, 238 bottles) Five stars
Colour: white wine/straw. Nose: this greasy kind of mineral oiliness that's certainly not to be found in most of today's malts. Graphite oil, sunflower oil, some kind of lemon chalk, grist, those raw wools that very few modern malts still own, lemon and rhubarb tartes, and then, trumpet please, quince jelly! With water: amazing citrons and fresh marzipan. Mouth: absolutely masterly, with a wonderful straight lemonness, more oily and woolly things, then a growing spicy minerality, with a drop of mint cream. Fantastic. With water: on lemony waxes. Finish: long, yet tart, yet oily and almost fat. A salty tang towards the end. Superb. A very tiny taste of glass (OBE) in the aftertaste but that is nothing. Comments: almost everybody's forgotten about Glen Esk. Let's try to keep the flame alive for a few more years, if you please.

SGP:561 - 90 points.

Hillside 28 yo 1971/2000 (51.4%, Signatory Vintage, Silent Stills, Japan import, cask #1508, 242 bottles)

Hillside 28 yo 1971/2000 (51.4%, Signatory Vintage, Silent Stills, Japan import, cask #1508, 242 bottles) Five stars
Remember this lovely series that used to come with a bung (or was it a piece of the cask?) and a miniature? Colour: gold. Nose: this one's rather more assertive but just as chalky, perhaps even more metallic, with a little suet, ham, Barbour grease and other unusual and pretty tertiary notes. A growing waxiness, ski wax… With water: a tad rounder than the 1974, with some meringue over the lemon tarte this time. Mouth (neat): very similar, just 'cleaner' and even tighter this time. Almost a Scottish mojito, with tighter lemons. Wonderful, and wonderful texture by the way. With water: even more lemony waxes than in the 1974. Awesome, imposing elegance, all on well-aged spirit rather than on anything woods or wines. In other words, this is almost only flavoured with time. Finish: long and as waxy, lemony and fat as before. Almost undistinguishable from the 1974 at this point. Comments: glorious once more. I hope more Glen Esk will cross our path, and would add that I'm dead sure that these bottles do get better over time. Stunning examples of perfect bottle aging (from 85/86 to 88 and then 90 over twenty years).
SGP:561 - 90 points.

(Thank you Hideo!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glen Esk we've tasted so far







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