Glenburgie 1966 (Sestante)

Glenburgie 1966 (Sestante)

Merry Christmas!

We tend to celebrate holidays with a review of something old and special. This year I picked up a sample of the Glenburgie 1966 by Sestante.

Sestante is one of the big names from the early days of independent bottling, founded by Ernesto Mainardi who used to work for Macallan’s Italian importer. Later he also started importing Gordon & Macphail. The name refers to the bar Il Sestante which Mainardi opened in Parma. He also bottled for other bars like Carato, Bar Metro, Marchesi Spinola…

In the early 2000s Sestante was renamed Silver Seal, in a partnership between Mainardi and Douglas Laing, and now run by Max Righi.


Glenburgie 22 yo 1966 (58%, G&M / Sestante Import for Enoteca Marchetti 1988, sherry wood, cask #323)

Nose: truly old-school sherry. Leathery notes, polished antique furniture in dusty attics, candied ginger. Then blueberries and raisins. Caramelized hazelnuts and mocha, as well as some bread crust, light menthol, eucalyptus, dark cocoa and shoe polish. Hints of dunnage warehouse floors. Malt loaf and orange liqueur. Very complex and totally elegant as long as you add some water, to break the concentration.

Mouth: more of these roasted notes, alongside orange peels, hints of black pepper and burnt toast. There’s quite some grippy oak, with hints of armagnac, dark chocolate and prunes. Water brings out charred pineapple, papayas and melons, always with a smoky edge. Then wet tobacco leaves, ginger and nutmeg, with some blackberry jam in the background. A dash of cough syrup too.

Finish: long and concentrated, with this slightly medicinal type of sherry.

I know a couple of big Glenburgie fans – check Johan’s review written 12 years ago for instance. While I think this is a great example of a dark and broody sherry cask from a long gone era, I can’t help feeling it covers up a lot of fruitiness. So yes, a high score but I expected even more.