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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Single Malt Report: Glen Keith 15 year old 1995 Signatory cask #171183

Glen Keith was 14 years dead until 2013.  Seagrams had shut down its production in 1999, then sold it to Pernod Ricard (via Chivas Regal) two years later.  During Seagrams ownership (1957-1999), the company tested out both triple distillation and peated whisky in attempts to create ingredients for its blends.  Upon its reopening under Pernod, the distillery is now loaded with new equipment which more than doubles its old capacity.  While I assume the vast majority will be headed to blends like Chivas and Ballantine's (thus with less experimentation in the works) I do hope they consider bringing an official aged single malt to the market in the next decade.  In the meantime, we must explore the independently bottled releases.

And this just happens to be another one of the Glens I haven't reviewed previously.  And another sample from Mr. Florin!

Distillery: Glen Keith
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Age: 15 years
Distillation year: 1995
Maturation: Hogshead
Cask#: 171183
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

The color is a reassuring light amber.  The fruit basked of a nose holds bananas, apricots, pears, peaches, and apple juice.  A lot of apple juice, actually.  There's also some vanilla pudding and a hint of yeast.  The palate is a sweetie with big notes of sweet tea, honey, rock candy, and cream soda.  There are also medium notes of malt and fresh ginger.  The finish is sweet, long, and pleasant.  It has a spicy zing, that may actually be the fresh ginger.  A little bit of fruit punch in there too.

WITH WATER (~40%abv)
The nose is subtler.  The apple juice remains, but there's also orange candy, anise, and hints of sage and thyme.  The palate remains sugary, malty.  Lots of honey, a few flowers.  Cream soda and molasses.  The sweet and spicy finish has noticeable notes of honey and apples.

A very sweet single malt that treads the thin line of enough and too much, this Glen Keith is a knockout compared to yesterday's Glenturret, but is really just a solid low-oak sweet fruiter when compared to the rest of the single malt world.  There used to be a number of these Glen Keith Signatory single casks lingering on US retailers' shelves, but they've been mostly snapped up.  If you've opened your bottle, let me know in the comment section below what you think of it.

Availability - 
Maybe a handful of US retailers have one of these GK Signatory UCFs

Pricing - $70-$80
Rating - 84