Post n°2000 (hooray).
This Glenugie was distilled in May 1980 and bottled October 1992 by Cadenhead’s. Did you know there were only around 90 single malt bottlings of Glenugie ever? Rare stuff indeed.
There seem to be different versions / similar bottlings from Cadenhead and they can be difficult to keep apart. This one is the ‘small white label’ bottling. Other bottlings are available at 58,1%, 59,7% and 59,8%, all distilled May 1980 and bottled September / October 1992.
Glenugie 12 yo 1980
(59,8%, Cadenhead 1992, sherry cask)
Nose: I cannot not think of Karuizawa. It has the tobacco notes, the espresso, the blackberries and even the cedar oak. Also bright raspberry top notes, moving towards high-end balsamico. Hibiscus tea. Even touches of pink grapefruit. Hints of unlit matchsticks as well, not entirely clean but fine with me as long as you don’t add water. Then back to sticky toffee pudding and caramelized nuts.
Mouth: again such a powerhouse! Very thick sherry, with everything that comes with it: raspberries, plums, figs, chocolate, herbal liqueurs, toasted bread, roasted coffee beans, tobacco… Lifted by some oranges and eucalyptus / mint, and these pink grapefruits and something lightly tropical. Amazing how it goes from smoky, earthy notes all the way to delicate fruity notes.
Finish: very long, sweet and herbal, dry but not in a tannic way.
Such a wonderful Glenugie, and it’s only 12 years old. Excellent flavours and incredible intensity with almost no astringency. I would have gone even higher if not for the faint dirty edge (I hear the 59,7% is slightly better in that respect). Almost never appeared in auctions the last couple of years, but certainly upwards of € 500 now. A sincere thank you, Raphael.