When you have a look at Whiskyfun’s distillery ranking, most of the 5-star ‘grand crus classés’ are well-known brands: Ardbeg, Brora, Lagavulin and Talisker. The fifth one is a name you don’t see very often: Glenugie. Instead of giving you more information, let me guide you to this website.
I’ve had one Glenugie 1982/2009 OMC before and it was pretty wonderful. Today I’m trying a single cask Glenugie 1977 31 years old.
What should you know about this one?
– bottled by Signatory,
– 24 years in bourbon oak + 7 years in oloroso sherry oak,
– picked up a silver medal at the 2009 Malt Maniacs Awards.
I don’t think I’ve reviewed a Signatory Vintage Cask Strength release before, but they’re usually very interesting, and not only for their nicely shaped bottle.
Glenugie 31 yo 1977
(58,1%, Signatory Vintage 2009, cask #7, 577 btl.)
Nose: starts on milk chocolate and lovely fruits (gooseberry, kiwi) with spicy oak. Honey. The sherry adds meaty / rubber notes which I find a bit of a bummer because it mutes the freshness of the fruits. Water helps to hide the rubber and bring out leather and more fruit though. Complex.
Mouth: spicy, quite herbal and slightly resinous. Underneath there are fruity notes: strawberries, oranges, cassis this time. Not the classic old Speyside profile but not heavy sherry either. Water adds meaty notes and chocolate. Some nutmeg. Quite savoury and a bit half-hearted maybe but very powerful and confident.
Finish: dry and slightly bitter. Slightly tannic with hints of tea.
I was less impressed than last time because the fruit basket is less exhuberant, and the powerful spicy oak keeps it out of the 90’s for me. But it’s certainly rewarding and anything but mediocre. Around € 160. A sister cask (cask #1 – same oloroso treatment) was released a few weeks ago.