...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, September 4, 2015

WTF Is This? Glenforres 12 year old All Highland Malt (1980s bottling)

WTF is this?  It's Edradour!  Mostly.  Or entirely.  Probably.  Edradour, the smallest distillery in the Highlands, was called Glenforres a couple times during its existence.  I've seen this particular whisky listed as both a Vatted Malt and a Single Malt online.  At first I thought it was the former, now I'm leaning towards the latter.  Note the back label:
Okay, that's not really legible.  To summarize, it says that Glenforres is the "smallest" distillery in Scotland -- as Edradour was for decades.  It says that it was built in Pitlochry -- as Edradour was.  And at the bottom, the label says "Established 1825" -- again Edradour.  And according to Dominic Roskrow's Whisky Opus, former owner William Whiteley renamed Edradour as Glenforres-Glenlivet during his ownership.  Thus, Edradour.  But why list "All Highland Malt" on the front label rather than "Single Malt"?  If anyone knows the answer, please share in the comments!
I think this is a pic of the bottle
my sample came from.
Distillery: Edradour
Ownership at the time: probably William Whiteley & Co. Inc.
Region: Highlands (Central)
Age: minimum 12 years old
Bottling year: Probably in the early 1980s
Maturation: Plastic dispensers?
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered? Unknown
Colorant added? Not much if any
(From a sample purchased from LA Scotch Club)

The color is amber.  The nose starts with malt and lots of limes.  Then out-of-season cherries, a little bit of wood polish, and a subtle moss note.  Some lychee candies and fresh grapefruit as well.  The whisky hits the palate sweetly in the first moment, but then soap soap soap soap soap soap soap soap soap.  Grapefruit soap.  Dove liquid soap.  Some of the fruits from the nose linger behind.  The finish keeps the grapefruits, but sheds all of the soap, at first.  In later sips, the soap returns.  There are also lemon candies and white gummi bears.  It's pretty salty and bitter throughout.

Well, that was an experience.  This must be the first time I've had a whisky with a nose that would score in the high-80s and palate that would score in the low-50s.  Had I looked at its whiskybase page, I wouldn't have gotten such a surprise, as the community lists it as the 73rd worst whisky of all time (out of nearly 66,000 competitors).  The fruity nose does pull it up out of Failure Land, but I cannot recommend this whisky to anyone outside of malt masochists or people who recreationally drink hand soap.

Availability - Why? You really don't want this anyway.
Pricing - ???
Rating - 67


  1. The term "Single Malt" wasn't commonly used until the '60s or '70s (I think). There are even old bottles of Glenfiddich with "Pure Malt" on the label even though that term has a different meaning today (or did). My guess is that this is a single malt from a time when the terms weren't properly defined.

    1. Oops, I didn't notice the date of the bottle. I guess Single Malt as a term wasn't common as late as the '80s.

    2. That could be a possibility. Folks like Cadenhead and G&M (and Glenmorangie, Knockando, Talisker, and Lagavulin) were using "Single Malt" regularly by that point. Glenlivet was calling it Pure Single Malt. Aberlour and Glenfiddich were still going with the term Pure Malt pretty late in the game. Macallan switched from Pure Highland Malt to Single Highland Malt around that time. Laphroaig was switching from (sometimes "Unblended") Islay Malt to Single Islay Malt, just before this.