Saturday, August 7, 2010


Glenburgie 1890

 Glenburgie is considered a Speyside destillery, it's located just outside Forres on the road towards Elgin and is geographically not Speyside but more Findhornside if that's a name used.

Glenlossie 1956

Lomond Stills at Glenburgie

 Glenburgie distillery was founded as Kilnflat distillery in 1810 and renamed Glenburgie-Glenlivet in 1878. From 1958 to 1981 the distillery had Lomond Stills installed where a malt named Glencraig was produced

 When Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard) acquired Allied Domecq in 2005 Glenburgie became part of this group. Chivas has Glenlivet as their malt flagship, Strathisla as combined visitor center for the Chivas blends and Strathisla 12yo, but I guess that Aberlour is their highest regarded distillery among anoraks, at least that's how Aberlour appears when you visit it - tours on several levels, opportunity to bottle straigh from a cask (two when I was there, actually) - a chance to purchase something really unique. The A'Bunadh series of cask strengths batches Aberlour is a famous and highly regarded series of bottlings amongst whisky entusiasts. 
 To me it seems that the tours available at their 3 visitor centres are aimed at different audiences to some degree.
 The rest of their distilleries is not really open for the public, but we were lucky to get a visit at Glenburgie, when being in the region at the Spirit of Speyside whiskyfestival 2010. We also visited Aberlour and Strathisla that weekend , so we saw different aspects of one of the biggest operators in the malt whisky business. 

With the acquisition of Allied Domecq, Chivas got hold of the Ballentines blend and at Glenburgie they promote this more than Glenburgie itself

Glenburgies new production building

The moderne all-in-one production building of Glenburgie. Here you see the stills, with a tiny bit of the mash tun. All the washbacks are located just next to the mash tun

Glenburgie Mash Tun

Glenburgie isn't being promoted as a single malt. Gordon and Macphail does a good 10yo where they have matured Glenburgie in their own casks. This is actually very cheap and some of the best quality for money whisky available. From Chivas self, Glenburgie is available in the Chivas cask strength edition series, a series of 0.5l bottlings, bottled at cask strength, supposed to be avilable only at their distilleries

If you want to explore Glenburgie and Glencraig further you have to go hunt down independent bottlings. Recently a friend, Thomas Korsgaard hosted a Glenburgie day, where we went through this huge set :

Glenburgie newmake, G&M 10yo, G&M 41yo 1964, Glencraig 35yo Duncan Taylor

Glencraig SMWS 34yo, Cadenhead 11yo, 15yo and 18yo

OMC 12yo, Chivas CE Edition 15yo (sample) Signatory 25yo
Carn Mor 25yo, Bladnoch Forum 26yo and 25yo, and something special :

Michael Langelund and Thomas Korsgaard getting some old Glenburgie 30yo straight from a cask
Thanks to Alex Robertson from Chivas for taking the time to show 4 anoraks around Glenburgie, and sharing some old Glenburgie photos with us
More details on the bottlings at Thomas Korsgaards vertical here : 
(Google translate might be needed !)

1. Glenburgie-Glenlivet 11yo Cadenheads 59.8% 20cl bottle
Nose : sweet honey
Palate : spicy woody sweetness, nutty, clean and crisp warming ex-bourbon
quite bitter on the finish
Rating 80

2. Glenburgie Chivas Cask Strength edition 15yo 1992-2007 GB 15001 58.8% (Thanks Karl Ejnar)
Nose : mild, slight vanilla
Palate :  apple and pear fruityness, nutty, clean and crisp warming ex-bourbon
Clearly associable with the Cadenheads, both being ex-bourbon it's not in the minty-vanilla catagory, more the "warm" nutty kind of whisky
Rating 85

3. Glenburgie 25yo 53.5% cask 9804 Bladnoch Forum
Nose : delightful sweetness like a fruity winegum
Palate : earthiness combined with a candylike sweetness, the wood is quite giving with mint and some bitterness
Finish : Slightly bitter and minty
From the whole range of wellaged Glenburgies tasted, this is a true and typical expression of old Glenburgie
Rating 85

4. Glenburgie 26yo 53.6% cask 9803 Bladnoch Forum
Nose : warm, earthy
Palate : more earthiness, mint, quite bitter
Finish : Medium and more bitterness
Rating 85

Thomas Korsgaard is guestreviewing  the two Glencraigs :

Glencraig 35yo 42,4%, Duncan Taylor, Cask 2922, Dist. March 1974, Bottled July 2009, Bottle 18/224 
Nose: Floral, hay, earthyniss
Palate: vanilla, winegune and a typical Duncan taylor old age thing.
Finish: Medium, soft and warming
Rating: 90

Glencraig 34yo 48,4%, SMWS “Angels on Horseback”, 1 of 191 bottles 
Nose: Banana, Toffee
Palate: Leather, hint of sharp perfume, but still sweet, beewax
Finish: Mediumlong, sharp

Rating: 88 

he also supplied WhiskyEmporium with Glencraig samples here :


  1. nice stuff steffen!

    i only had 1 glenburgie to date (the 10) and it was OK. not stunning...

  2. Yeah, its a nice malt, sold in the 15-20£ range