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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A Pair of Glen Keiths

There aren't many Glen Keith reviews to be found on this site. The same goes for Imperial. Despite limited experience with both, I've already banded them together in my mind. The single malts are perfectly fine, and probably provided excellent backbones to a great many blends. I don't seek them out, even though they're defunct and/or newly reborn. Maybe they're not weird enough for me. I might have only one more Imperial sample somewhere, but I do have these two Glen Keiths supplied to me by doggo-lover and planter-of-hostas, My Annoying Opinions. I'm trying the two Keiths side by side just to prove to my palate that not every Glen Keith tastes the same.

Labels composed in middle-Sku style

Glen Keith 21 year old 1996 Single Malts of Scotland (Elixir Distillers)
Sherry butt 135908, 56.2%abv
pic yoinked
from Whiskybase

Nose - At first it's all fabric, nutty fino, black walnuts, mushrooms and an ocean breeze. Molasses, roses and dried apricots slowly emerge later on. Adding water perks it up, bringing out baked peaches and orange Pixy Stix, with hints of stones and wood smoke.

Palate - The nose's nutty fino shows up first with some very dark chocolate as its +1. Then there's lime zest and dried blueberries, essences rather than sugars. It gets zestier and mustier with time. It gets sweeter once water is added, bringing in cherry candy, mint extract and a bit of new oak.

Finish - Salt, minerals, limes and a hint of prune. Sweeter than the palate. With water it gets a curious mix of cherry candy and tahini.

I love love the nose when neat, and probably prefer the palate the same way. Water does sugar it up, resulting in two whiskies for the price of one. Whatever that price once was. Though the palate and finish didn't rock me like the sniffer, this is still the best damned Glen Keith I've ever had (out of, like, six). Kudos to the folks, like MAO, who nabbed this bottle.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88 (neat)


Glen Keith 22 year old 1995 Archives
Hogshead 171245, 56.0%abv

Nose - Much hotter than the 21yo. There's citronella, damp basement, something meaty/savory, brine, pilsner and nutritional yeast. More citrus and sugar emerges with time. It gets prettier with added water. Flower blossoms, citronella, vanilla and green bell peppers.

Palate - Whoa. Aqua Velva. I'm time warping back twenty-three years to a dirty-ass bathroom in Westwood, my blue bottle of AV Ice has tipped over into the bathroom sink and I'm out like $7.99 plus tax. Then I'm back in this dystopian future, and the whisky has ditched the aftershave becoming very sweet, very intense and very better. Think cantaloupe, oranges and candle wax. It gets even sweeter once I've added water, with notes of melon candy and citrus candy. Hints of florals, metal and herbal bitterness keep it from overboard.

Finish - Sweet and floral. Cantaloupe and tart oranges. A bit drying. Adding water doesn't change it much.

I have learned something today. Every Glen Keith does not taste the same. My stars. I do prefer this whisky when it is neat......once it straightens itself out. It's difficult to stir my dormant sweet tooth with anything other than Kasugai candies or butterscotch budinos, so this whisky will appeal more to sweetie pies. Like MAO. But this is certainly not a generic Speyside malt.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 82