Single malt whisky - tasting notes

23 Mar 2012

Highland Fusilier 21 years

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Blends

Highland Fusilier 21yo labelsThe Highland Fusiliers are Princess Margeret’s personal Glasgow and Ayrshire regiment.

For the Tercentenary anniversary of the Scots Regiment of Foot (1678 – 1978), Gordon & MacPhail released a 21 years old vatted malt (“Pure malt”). Although there is no mention of the distilleries involved, the vatting probably includes some 1950’s Macallan.

Surprisingly they are seen with at least five different labels (click to magnify). Many of them found their way to Italy through Sestante and Pinerolo. I’m not sure whether all versions contain the same vatting. They seem to have the same colour though.


Highland Fusilier 21 yearsHighland Fusilier 21 yo
(70° proof, Gordon & MacPhail 1978, Specially vatted for the Tercentenary of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 75,7 cl.)

Nose: excellent nose, sweet with a juicy sherry character (sultanas, dried apricot). Tobacco leaves. A leathery note and some vanilla (hints of high-quality American bourbon). Light smoke in the background, as well as some dusty / musty notes. Overall very Macallan-esk indeed. Mouth: a short sweet introduction (caramel and sultana), quickly taken over by oaky and bitter notes (herbs). Not as full as I hoped, not too complex either. Slightly past its due date maybe. Finish: not too long, hesitating between caramel sweetness and herbal oakiness.

One of these old drams with a great nose (91-92 points) and a palate that’s slightly less impressive. That being said, it’s a lovely example of the 1950’s sherry style. Around € 150 in auctions.

Score: 88/100

Highland Fusilier 21 years 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-03-23



October 2015
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  • WhiskyNotes: Obviously there are new articles each year (see my post about last year's edition) and the latest releases / statistics are added each year. If you've
  • Nate: I've never bought a copy. Is each year very different or is just buying the most recent sufficient?
  • WhiskyNotes: Benrinnes :-) although calling it one of Scotland's finest distilleries may be a bit too much. However casks from 2001 are being released, I've found

Coming up

  • Caol Ila 1979 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Royal Brackla 16 Year Old
  • Irish malt 1991 'Maria' (The Nectar)
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Kavalan Podium

1889 notes by Ruben

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