...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Glenburgie 23 year old 1989 Chester Whisky

I've found 15+ year old Glenburgie to be a very agreeable whisky, mostly because it has The Fruits. Wednesday's Irish whiskey was also fruity, but there was an oaky battle going on. Today's Glenburgie is of a similar age to that Knappogue Castle, just two years its elder. It's a single cask from the Chester Whisky & Liqueur Company, an independent bottling company that closed up shop seven years ago. As a result my first Chester whisky may also be my last, unless anyone wants to send me a free case of their '88 sherry cask Littlemill.

Distillery: Glenburgie
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Owners: Pernod Ricard
Independent Bottler: Chester Whisky & Liqueur Company
Age: 23 years (1989 - 2012)
Maturation: Bourbon barrel
Outturn: 212 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 54.8%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(thank you to My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)


The nose begins curiously. It's like huffing a bag of Wonder bread in a freshly painted kitchen. Face out of the bag, one can now smell butter, orange oil and overripe bananas. After about 30 minutes, notes of nectarines and black Twizzlers develop in the background. Its style shifts a bit once the whisky is reduced to 46%abv. Dried coriander, lemon and malt arrive first, followed by yellow bell peppers and orange oil.

Bread and butter on the palate. Lots of vibrant lemon, some savory-peppery spice. Hints of nectarines and honey around the edges. At 46%abv, there's less bread and more fruit, specifically lemon zest. Chile oil, fresh herbs and a pinch of salt as well.

It finishes saltier and tangier than the palate, with hints of nectarine and honey in the back. At 46%abv, the whisky finishes with salt, lemon and malt.


A bit of an odd duck, this whisky is difficult to score or even summarize. Unlike the younger and lighter KC21, the bourbon barrel here never intrudes. On the other hand, the bread notes were unexpected and considerable, and I struggled to see beyond them. I liked the lemon notes, and wished there were more fruits in play. Diluting the whisky solved most of those challenges.

Mr. M.A.O. had a somewhat different experience than I, preferring it neat and enjoying it more, though we did find some of the same characteristics. As usual, I'm more of an arse, which is easy because he's a sweetie pie.

Where was I? Oh yeah, more Glenburgies next week!

Availability - Gone
Pricing - I think this was about $100, eight years ago
Rating - 82