Pure Perfection in a Classic Single Malt: Glenburgie 21 Year Old at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

A Perfectly Aged Speysider at an Amazing Price
1998 Glenburgie 21 Year Old “Old Particular” Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky ($109.99)
“This whisky should be twice the price considering the quality. Exceptional!” — David Othenin-Girard, K&L SoCal Spirits Buyer

As an integral component to wildly popular Ballantine’s, Glenburgie has a reputation for crafting single malts that are smooth, easy-drinking, and, above all, delicious. We couldn’t believe our good fortune when we happened upon this 21-year-old cask. Typically, Ballantine’s scoops up every barrel it can from Glenburgie, so finding aged expressions like this one is no simple task. And what a rendition it is! Exotic and engaging, it serves up tropical flavors of mango and papaya, along with more traditional notes of vanilla, wood spice, and honey and beeswax. When it comes to Speyside single malts, Glenburgie makes some of our very favorite expressions and this cask-strength stunner is no exception. What makes it so compelling, aside from the dazzling array of flavors and aromatics, is its easy-going delivery. Add a sprinkle of water and enjoy with abandon. It harkens back to the old-school malts that we so enjoyed twenty-plus years ago. $110 is a bargain for a bottle with this kind of age statement and pedigree. Give this 21 Year Old a spin, and we guarantee it’ll become your go-to dram. It’s just that good.

1998 Glenburgie 21 Year Old “Old Particular” Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

The home of Ballantine’s – the world’s second largest whisky seller. Nearly every precious drop of Glenburgie stays “in the family,” so we were duly excited when we were offered the chance to bottle our own cask – at 21 years old no less. On the northern edge of Speyside, Glenburgie has a long history with multiple ownership interests like so many famous Scottish distilleries. Built in 1829, the distillery changed hands a number of times before settling into the Hiram Walker portfolio in 1936 and forevermore being associated with the Ballantine’s brand. The distillery was demolished and rebuilt in 2004 to incorporate more capacity. Distilled in 1998, this cask comes from the original distillery. As the heart of Ballantine’s, you’d expect this cask to be smooth and easy drinking and it is. The rich sweet malt is made more complex by a fresh hay note and loads of honey, toffee, and sweet spice. Take advantage of the chance to experience Glenburgie as a single malt while you have it, The rarity of this cask combined with the strong direct pricing means it won’t be available for long.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 25, 2019

Glenburgie is one of a few distilleries we rarely see at the bottlers as it seems Ballentine’s needs every drop. But when we do find a good Burgie it can really sing. I find the very best Burgies have a distinct and undeniably delicious fruit quality leaning toward the mangoes and melons that are oh so rare in modern malt. This is a truly exceptional value considering the age and rarity of this special malt and we’re right in that gorgeous territory that Burgie does best. Tense and tight at first, some air and the tiniest drop of water start things off and the powerful fruit aromatics just pop. Intense nose of kiwi, banana, dragonfruit and mango. Behind that some unusual mineral oils or maybe ginseng. On the a palate the stupendous wild fruit is now coupled with a very complex set of spices – mint, coriander, ginger, dill and licorice. A total roller coaster and exactly the type of malt I love to drink on the daily. This whisky should be twice the price considering the quality. Exceptional!

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 03, 2020

With Scottish single malts offering an amazing array of flavors, it’s not really correct to say there is an archetypal profile – but this is a stone cold classic. Almost a caricature of single malt. It has barley, fruit, wood, spice, and sweetness wrapped in a velvet cloak and drizzled with honey. It smells like my grandfather at 5 o’clock. It’s sweet cereal driven at first and has a robust layer of tropical fruits just under the surface, like an açai bowl. The palate is fleshed out by a perfect level of wood spice, cinnamon, flaky pastry crust, and sweet vanilla. Crushable comes to mind. A little water and even more sweet fruit abounds, but so too does the spice pick up. Everything opens just a little bit. It’s the kind of malt that other malts wish it could be. At 21 years old and just pushing the $100 mark slightly, it’s the kind of malt we used to know and love and just so rarely see today.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 06, 2020

This is a great single malt and is a super value for a 21 year old single malt. In the nose it is like sweet honey with a touch of beeswax. In the mouth these sweet honey notes continue in a full bodied and rich treat. Secondary flavors of spice and savory add complexity and make this a wonderful drinking experience. I think that this selection tastes best with a small splash of water.

Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2019

The whisky in this bottle dates back to before the Glenburgie distillery was completely rebuilt in 2003-2004. Very fruity, floral, and leathery right off the bat. There’s a good amount of playfulness here which makes for a fun dram. I pick up a lot of red fruits (fresh and dried), then spice, wild flowers, and gentle caramel. Citrus and cream then green apple come next. The palate is still very fruity, but increases dramatically in malt character and oak spice. The addition of water enhances this dram nicely, adding elements of buttered bread with berry compote.

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