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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Single Malt Report: Glen Keith 21 year old 1992 Archives, cask 120599

Ah what the heck, here's another Glen Keith, one that's still available at the moment I am typing these words.  It was bottled by the Whiskybase crew under their Archives label, as part of their The Fishes of Samoa series, and has a big orange fish on the label.

I think these two samples were included for free in two different orders I did with Whiskybase a couple years ago.  These bonuses were much appreciated since my experience with Archives' single casks has been very positive.  They were so appreciated that I never drank them, until now.

: Glen Keith
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Independent Bottler: Archives
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Age: 21 years old (October 1992 - March 2014)
Maturation: ex-bourbon barrel
Cask#: 120599
Alcohol by Volume: 51.5%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

The nose is very malty with delicate fruit and flower notes, like roses and apples.  There's moderate rubber cement note (a good thing for my fellow huffers).  With time it picks up some big bourbon barrel notes; a combo of vanilla, caramel, toffee pudding, and furniture polish.  The crowdpleaser of a palate is mostly malt and peaches.  Maybe some Juicy Fruit gum and vanilla.  Mildly sweet, slightly floral.  It finishes with canned peaches in syrup and vanilla.  A little bit of heat.  Though simple in structure, it has good length.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose is nuttier and more floral now.  The rubber cement note has been tamed to a more moderate gluey one.  Oooh, tangerines.  Sometimes feels like a dusty ND-era bourbon with vanilla + butterscotch + furniture polish.  The palate is oddly hotter, sharper, narrower.  It closed rather than opened.  It's tart and a little bitter.  Some vague fruit notes and vanilla.  The finish is sweeter, candied.  Vanilla and flowers.

Definitely similar at heart to yesterday's Glen Keith, sweet and fruity.  This one's palate is a little more straightforward, while its nose is more active.  I recommend it neat because though the nose improves, the palate worsens.  When neat, this is an easy pleaser, probably what many folks think of as classically Speyside.

This the first Archives bottling I've sampled that did not inspire me to want to run out (to Rotterdam) and buy a bottle.  It's still a good whisky, but I wonder if there's a ceiling for mid-aged Glen Keith.  I've had four in total and they're all in the B-/B grade range.  That's not an insult, the consistency is admirable.

Availability - Whiskybase shop
Pricing - €76 w/o VAT
Rating - 85

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