Glenugie is one of my personal favourites – I still think it’s undervalued and often overshadowed by other, more famous lost distilleries. Unfortunately it’s also one of the rarest names: there never were any official bottlings and even independent bottlers rarely dig up a cask.
We’re keeping the memory alive with this Glenugie 1977 bottled by Signatory Vintage. I tried its sister cask at 31 years a while ago. Similar maturation: 25 years in hogsheads and finished for 100 months in an Oloroso sherry butt.
Glenugie 33 yo 1977 (57,2%, Signatory Vintage 2011, sherry butt #2, 573 btl.)
Nose: polished furniture and old cupboards with rich sherry fruits. Oranges, apricot jams and red berries. Ginger, clove and herbal teas, some grassy notes as well. Leather and subtle tobacco. Whiffs of nail polish remover, I don’t mind. If you wait long enough, a nice pink grapefruit / sour mango note come out.
Mouth: high acidity fruits, orange (marmalade), yellow plums, passion fruit, pink grapefruit and blackcurrant. Still plenty of polished wood. Hints of ginger and tobacco. Aromatic pepper. Hay as well.
Finish: long, more spicy now. Zesty citrus, fruit tea and some savoury herbs.
Another very rewarding expression, even though it needs time to open up and some aromas are hard to notice. Not the best Glenugie in my book but beautiful nonetheless. The Whisky Exchange is still selling samples.