KWM Whisky Advent Calendar 2016: Day 16

16 12 2016

I’m learning.  I half-pulled tonight’s mini-bottle out of its cardboard home, saw the uber-Scottish name of a distillery I had never previously seen or heard of, and immediately hunted for the tiny Gordon & MacPhail logo tucked discreetly on the bottom of the label.  Another Distillery Label G&M Whisky?  You betcha.  On Day 8 it was the gleefully Scottish Miltonduff that got its quasi-day in the sun, and 8 days later it’s the equally blue-and-white Glenburgie 10 Year Single Malt (another Glen for the roster!) that has its turn.  As mentioned a week or so ago, the Distillery Label series is Gordon & MacPhail’s collaborative effort with a series of lesser-known distilleries to bottle a whisky that’s as close as possible to the producer’s own release through the invisible hand of G&M’s independent bottling empire.  The effort goes right down to the packaging, which is made to look like it came right from the distillery’s own marketing department; you almost need a magnifying glass on these mini-bottles to see that Gordon & MacPhail had anything to do with them.

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Glenburgie is a Speyside-based distiller and yet another scotch producer that’s mainly used as feedstock for the Ballantine’s blend (a trait it shares with the last Distillery Label, Miltonduff, each of whom deserve a better fate).  This bottle was matured in multiple types of sherry casks and threw off some impressive depth of colour for a 10 Year whisky.  It began fairly understated, a careful combo of fruit, spice and herbaceous aromas:  peach iced tea, pepper, wood grain, celery root.  Then things ramped up on the palate, mostly thanks to the Glenburgie’s honeyed and almost waxy texture, mouth-coating even at 40% abv and bolstering more intense flavours of sweet orange Lifesavers, almond brittle, celery and peanut butter (together), sultana crackers and anise.  I don’t think this is a scotch I’m going to remember in two whisky days, but it’s definitely an enjoyable weeknight whisky.  It and Miltonduff are two peas in a pod that way; I could probably do without a third one in 8 more days, but we shall see.

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