I really dig Glen Elgin. I’ve just looked over the 11 expressions I’ve reviewed so far (distilled 1968-1995) and they’re all in the 87-90 region with just one or two exceptions. It’s not a big name but it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here are two Glen Elgin 1995 bottlings from the same bottler Maltbarn. One dates back to 2015 but the other one is rather new.
Glen Elgin 20 yo 1995 (51,7%, Maltbarn 2015, bourbon cask, 116 btl.)
Nose: great profile. Sweet orchard fruits (ripe apples, greengages) mixed with Clynelish-like hints of paraffin, motor oil and honey. Sort of a fruit basket placed in a car workshop. Hints of oil paint and mint. Light vegetal / grassy touches. Whiffs of cardamom and vanilla. Spiced rum?
Mouth: pretty great again, modern and old-style at the same time. Lots of oily / waxy notes, plenty of mint and aniseed. Sweet liquorice. White pepper. Then back towards ripe yellow apples and orange peel. Some buttery notes in the background.
Finish: fairly long, warm, with mild spices and waxy fruits.
Lovely whisky really. I love the waxy / oily notes which add warmth and make it rather old-style. Around € 110, but probably sold out.
Glen Elgin 22 yo 1995 (53,5%, Maltbarn 2017, bourbon cask, 148 btl.)
Nose: a tad simpler I’d say. Apples and apple peels are more in the forefront. Something of a high-end green tea. It seems greener with less of the unique oily notes. Liquorice and juicy oak. Just not as warm and seductive as the 20yo, although adding a bit of water brings this one closer.
Mouth: fruity arrival (red apples, citrus, pineapple cubes) with honey and a similar dusty oaky side. Hints of beeswax and leather. Orange peel. Mint and aniseed.
Finish: fairly long, half fruity, half on spicy oak.
Very interesting again. I prefer the nose of the 20yo but on the palate the 22yo wins. Around € 145, still available from Maltbarn direct.