Single malt whisky - tasting notes

08 Mar 2010

Coleburn 1983 (Whisky Agency)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Coleburn

There’s only one official bottling of Coleburn whisky, a 21 years old Rare Malts version released in 2000. The distillery was closed in 1985 and dismantled in 1996.

Coleburn was described by Jim Murray as a “rarely enjoyable” whisky, but given the extremely low number of bottlings, I don’t think anyone can really make a judgement of this kind.


Coleburn 1983 Whisky Agency Coleburn 26 yo 1983 (49,5%, The Whisky Agency 2009, Fossils series, 120 btl.)

Nose: slightly phenolic and earthy but at the same time fruity (apricot, citrus) and floral (orange blossom). Very subtle smoke. Sharp notes of oak polish and mustard. Almond paste. There’s a deceiving lightness to this one but it has some interesting rough edges. Hints of cardboard which grow stronger if you add a bit of water. Mouth: grapefruit with mustard (what a combination…). Blue cheese? Quite a lot of spices (cloves, ginger) and again slightly smoky. Lime. Hints of wintercress. Finish: dry and oaky with a bitter edge (orange peel).

This Coleburn is not an easy lover, but really interesting. Its style is old-fashioned and reminded me of 1950-60’s spirits – they don’t make this kind of profile any more. A tad too bitter for my taste. Around € 115.

Score: 83/100

Coleburn 1983 (Whisky Agency) 3 Ruben Luyten 2010-03-08
  • lexus

    Thanks for your comment Ruben.
    I have really enjoyed this coleburn…as you said: old fashion (earthy, spicy with floral notes, very clean in fact)…
    not less than 89pts in my book

  • Peat

    You say:
    There’s only one official bottling of Coleburn whisky, a 21 years old Rare Malts version released in 2000.

    What is this in my hand then ? Is it not “official” ??

    Coleburn 1981, 19yo, 46%, Sherry Butt by Signatory’s Un-Chillfiltered Collection.

  • Ruben

    Indeed, that one is not an official bottling. Official bottlings are released by the distillery, not by an independent bottler like Signatory (who buy casks from different distilleries). Rare Malts are considered to be official bottlings as they are released by Diageo, the owner of these distilleries.

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  • Barman’s Choice

    Coleburn tasting notes as rare as Coleburn whisky.

  • web agency napoli

    Very good!!!

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1935 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.