...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Glen Keith 19 year old 1995 Signatory for Stoller Wines, cask 171202

This week, I'm reviewing the four single malts from last week's whisky event. The event went very well and the food was great.

I started the event off with a single American oak cask of a (former) mothballed distillery, Glen Keith. It was bottled by the Signatory folks, and was selected for retail by Stoller Wines, an Illinoisan distributor. The bottles were sold exclusively(?) at the Binny's locations.

This is only the third Glen Keith I've reviewed here. I found the other two (including another 1995 from Signatory) to be just fine. Nothing exciting. Proper whisky. Probably a cinch to blend. Nothing I'd run out and purchase, though. But this bottle did come from my collection. I swapped a much younger bourbon for it. And I thought it would be a good way to start an event with an approachable Speyside. Hopefully.

I don't think I took pictures of any of these bottles beforehand
and am waiting for photos of the event. In the meantime,
here's some clip art.

Distillery: Glen Keith
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Age: 19 years (November 1995 - March 2015)
Maturation: Hogshead
Cask#: 171202
Bottles: 239
Alcohol by Volume: 56.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

The nose is big on hay and Nillas (like a cask strength Canadian blend). Orange peel, barley and lager follow. Some basic alcohol fumes, apple juice and a hint of lemon. The palate first comes in all citrus and floral. Then extra-sweetened toothpaste. It's mildly malty with some heat and caramel candy. An anise note floats in the back. In later sips, there's a slightly bitter char note. The main note the finish is Sweet. Just plain ol' sweet. Some heat. Some grain. A lengthy cayenne tingle.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose picks up a soft farmy note. Then citronella candles, vanilla, and underripe peaches. Some subtle dusty and herbal notes too. A phenolic/medicinal note shows up in the palate for a moment. (Found this curious note during the event too.) But the whole thing gets much louder with the dilution. Much sweeter and bitterer. More lemons, actually cheap limoncello. And a hint of plastic. Limoncello, vinegar, heat, grain and woody bitterness in the finish.

"Mmmmmeh," goes the bored cow? The Glen Keith is fully okay when neat. But it's nothing one can't find elsewhere, often. Though, it's a bit too sweet for me. It gets loud and weird when water is added. And I like it better that way. If it wasn't for the woody bitterness and vinegar in the finish, I'd be more excited about it. So I'd recommend it with limited dilution, but I don't know if I'd really recommend it at all. At least it had a good price tag.

MAO, always the relevant one, reviewed this whisky a year and a half ago. Always the enthusiastic one, he was more keen to it than I. He found some of the citrus notes and the vinegar thing, though I think its fruits treated him better. If anyone else has tried this whisky, please share your thoughts on it in the comments section below.

Still not that impressed with Glen Keiths, yet. I wish I'd started the event off with a more convincing whisky. At least the other three were MUCH different in style.

Availability - At Binny's, though I think it may have finally sold through
Pricing - it was $70
Rating - 80 (with water)

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