The third release in the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare series is composed around old whisky from Glenury Royal. After Brora and Port Ellen, this is the final part of the series. Although Glenury has never been hyped like the other two, quality-wise it does deserve a place in this line-up.
Founded by Captain Robert Barclay in 1825, the distillery is one of the few to have secured the ‘Royal’ suffix, thanks to King William IV. It was taken over by DCL (later Diageo) in 1953. Like most of its neighbours (Glenesk, Lochside, North Port) it fell silent in 1983 and was closed for good in 1985. Interest in Glenury Royal was sparked in the 1990s by a few Rare Malts bottlings and very old 1970 / 1968 / 1953 decanters, all of high quality.
Besides Glenury Royal the composition also includes other rare whiskies like Glen Elgin, Pittyvaich, Glenlossie, Glenkinchie, Cambus and Cameronbridge.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare – Glenury Royal (43,8%, OB 2019)
Nose: a sense of old age again, a bit dusty in a good way. Some vague fruits (tinned pineapple, peach, dried pear), biscuits and nutty elements (almond, hazelnut). Heathery notes and dried flowers. Leather and subtle wax.
Mouth: very smooth and classy, with an oily texture (though slightly underpowered), honeyed notes, almonds and toffee. Sweet cake with cinnamon. Orange peel. Leather again. Just a light oaky background (modern vanilla). Fading to a peppery warmth.
Finish: medium long, waxy and nutty, with baked apple and subtle herbal notes.
Like the other two, this is a great blend of well-aged whiskies. The Brora is still my favourite, this comes second, and the whole series is of high quality but quite expensive. Available from MoM or a sample from TWE for instance, or your local retailer of course.