Glen Keith from three bourbon casks today. The first is a 1995, slightly younger than both others and bottled by Cave Aquila, which is a small-scale Belgian bottler ran by Daniël Quanten (often a host on tastings).
The second is a 1993 cask from Sansibar, in the Clans series.
There’s a third bottling in this comparison, a 1992 Fishes of Samoa bottling. However I realized that I already reviewed it before, after writing down most of my tasting notes… so I’ve just kept it in the comparison.
Glen Keith 21 yo 1995 (48,6%, Cave Aquila 2016, bourbon barrel #100264, 65 btl.)
Nose: very fresh, with green apples, bananas, yellow plums and maybe a hint of pineapple. Also a mashy beer-like note in the background (making it seem much younger), hay and a little wet chalk.
Mouth: bright fruits, mainly apples and plums. The grainy beer note is still there, and there’s a growing zesty bitterness. Lemon, grapefruit, grassy notes. Just a little vanilla to round it off.
Finish: still quite zesty and grassy, very citrusy with a good dose of white pepper.
A fine, above all very natural whisky. The youngish notes and zesty grassiness on the palate make it less attractive than the others though. Still available through Cave Aquila for € 130.
Glen Keith 24 yo 1993
(52,2%, Sansibar ‘Clans label’ 2017, bourbon cask, 142 btl.)
Nose: in the same ballpark, fruit salad whisky but with more (and riper) banana in this case and bigger notes of vanilla ice cream. Hints of marshmallows and creamy coconut too. Can’t be against fruit salad.
Mouth: more honeyed and rounder than the Cave Aquila. Yellow apples, candied ginger, a little whitecurrant. More glucose too, balancing the zesty notes that clearly play a minor role here. Just a little toast from the oak.
Finish: medium long, with peaches, creamy coconut and some nutty notes.
Nicer nose, none of the beer notes and more roundness on the palate. Better but also more expensive: around € 160. Still available in some places.
Glen Keith 24 yo 1992
(59,7%, Archives ‘Fishes of Samoa’ 2017, barrel #120633, 131 btl.)
Nose: very active wood here (the colour already gave it away), which means even more vanilla and coconut. Next to the others this seems close to a grain whisky or even a bourbon on the nose. Fresh pencil shavings and newly opened Ikea packages. Nice cross-over.
Mouth: quite hot, but also thick and sweet. You taste the wood again, as well as cloves and Seville oranges. Some cooked fruits (apricots) to balance it.
Finish: long, bourbonny, with fruits, spices and a little dark chocolate.
Oaky in a nice way, with a clear bourbonny character. A nice hybrid and more unique than the others. Around € 125. Sold out, I believe.