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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Inchgower 13 year old 1994 Manager's Dram

Who has two thumbs and two rounds of Covid? This guy! Luckily the second burst came in at half the strength of the first. My palate and nose were fine throughout (I give them an 85!), but I did put whisky and other poisons aside for over a week. I tested them before dipping back into the review game. Grateful for my vaccine power-ups, I am ready to go.

Without further ado, the Inchgower series continues with Diageo's Manager's Dram, a series that preceded the Manager's Choice by a couple of years. (To note, I don't believe this was a single cask because the pic on Whiskybase shows "Bottle 0805".) This one went side-by-side with my great '95 single sherry butt.

Distillery: Inchgower
Region: Speyside (Banffshire)
Owner: Diageo
Range: The Manager's Dram
Age: 13 years (1994 - 7 June 2007)
Maturation: possible a sherry cask?
Outturn: ???? bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.9%
(from a bottle split)

NEAT

Almond butter arrives first in the nose, and sticks around a while. Green grapes and apple peels meet with it well. Burlier notes, like dried leaves, ocean brine, and a bit cruciferous veg appear next, followed by crème brûlée and orange zest. Earthy bitter chocolate and raw nuts hit the palate first. Hints of raspberry jam and graphite sit in the background, but nothing else materializes other than heat. It finishes hot, bitter and earthy, with just a little bit of citrus in the back.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Now vaguer, and less focused, the nose offers only walnuts, brine and some organic funkiness. The palate also fades. Bright bitterness, soil, a little bit of chocolate, and a lot of ethyl heat, is all it offers. It finishes with that bitter chocolate note.

WORDS WORDS WORDS

While I appreciate the hardier, drier sherry style of this whisky, it just could not stand up to the 21yo 1995 Old Malt Cask. Though it would probably wallop many contemporary sherry cask whiskies, that doesn't mean it deserves superlatives. Its strength is in the nose, and the palate seems to beg for water, but hydration does it no favors. Drink it neat, and be ready for a dry, lean, hot Inchgower.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 84 (neat only)