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Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Black Friday 22 year old The Whisky Exchange, 2021 Edition

Glenburgie in its pre-2004 + bourbon cask form can be one of the prettiest, fruitiest single malts. In 2004-2005, Allied Lyons leveled and rebuilt the distillery in a larger form, and then expanded it further the next year to support the Ballantine's blends' needs. I'm not shading the new era's distillate because enough time hasn't yet passed to see how it'll turn out.

This week presents a trio of 1990s Glenburgie spirit, though I can't guarantee that any of these were bourbon-cask-only productions. Today's 'Burgie, The Whisky Exchange's Black Friday 2021 single malt, is probably falls in that catgeory, but Billy Abbott and crew were very hush-hush about the ingredients, even leaving the distillery's name off the label. In fact, I'm not 100% certain this is actually Glenburgie, but a pair of little birdies told me it was. Should I listen to the birds, those tricksy spies?

Distillery: Glenburgie?
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Owners: Pernod Ricard
Independent Bottler: Elixir Distillers
Range: Black Friday
Age: 22 years (???? - October 2021)
Maturation: ???
Outturn: 1800 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 49.2%
(from a bottle split)


Plenty of happy youth left in this 22yo's nose. Apricots and limes join up with hazelnuts, rye seeds, and touch of malt. Notes of cardamom and baked peaches arrive after about 30 minutes. Similar apricot-lime-malt start to the palate, then turns towards kiwi candy, peach schnapps, and a dash of salt. It finishes with a mix of stone fruit liqueurs, yet never gets too sweet, perhaps because there's a nice salty foundation beneath.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or <½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Orange blossoms and cream puffs take over the nose now, with mellower notes of rye seeds and pine in the background. The palate gets extra fruity, with peaches, tangerines, and a mango moment or two. A slightly bitter bite gives it an extra angle. The finish matches the palate.


It's probably Glenburgie, or at least one of its fruity Speyside cousins. Though the whisky is more complex when neat, I prefer how the diluted palate focuses directly on the fruit essences while easing up on the sweetness. As often happens, the small batch approach brings consistency and moderation to the whisky. So complexity isn't its strong suit, instead it's a comfy drinker without too much oak. There are evenings when such an elixir becomes necessary.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 85