Glentauchers 1997 / Highland Malt 1983 (Maltbarn)

Glentauchers 1997 / Highland Malt 1983 (Maltbarn)

I just noticed that we’re doing duo reviews this week – although that wasn’t specifically planned. I will alter my schedule a little and make sure you get two reviews a day. Sounds good?

We’re looking at Maltbarn releases again, two single malts bottled in the 26 series featuring birds on the label. See the excellent Littlemill 1989 and Glenburgie 1995 for instance.


Glentauchers 24 yo 1997 (50,8%, Maltbarn ‘The 26’ 2021, bourbon cask, 41 btl.)

Nose: needs time to wake up. Grassy at first. Then apples and white nectarines, as well as waxy citrus. Dough and honey. Hints of powder sugar and vanilla pastry after a while, but also light pepper and these grassy notes that are slightly in the way.

Mouth: full of apples and plums now, with a light tropical side. Pineapple and mango. Very creamy, with barley syrup and fruit candy. Then the zesty and grassy side is back, with spicy oak and a pleasant acidity. Verbena, lemongrass and minty notes too.

Finish: medium, citrusy and grassy, with waxy hints and green tea.

Clean, almost racy and rather grassy at first, but the real asset here is the creamy fruitiness that comes out on the palate. It reminded me a bit of a Riesling wine, translated to whisky. Good stuff in any case. Sold out according to the Maltbarn website.



Highland Malt 38 yo 1983 (51,4%, Maltbarn ‘The 26’ 2021, sherry cask, 48 btl.)

Highland Malt 1983 - Maltbarn Nose: quite thick and compact, with a waxy side, sunflower oil and wee hints of precious hardwood. In the background there are quinces, pears and peaches on syrup. Almonds too. Then hints of wildflowers and hay. Increasingly leafy over time.

Mouth: just great. It’s oily and dusty, with old resins and paraffins, orange peels and herbal tea. A lovely waxiness appears, as well as tobacco. Even a mentholated peaty note? At the same time some dried mango and pink grapefruit comes out. An earthy / spicy edge as well.

Finish: long and harmonious. Some bready notes, herbal tea, tart fruits and a subtle bitterness.

The nose is quite restrained but pleasantly old-style. On the palate it reaches an even higher level. Although I find echoes of Clynelish but also Highland Park at times, this has a unique character. Multi-layered pleasures! Sold out. Score: 91/100