Let’s close out Sherry Cask Week (and the month in whisky reviews) with another distillery that has not featured very much on the blog over the last 8.5 years and which I have very little experience with off the blog as well: Inchgower. (See here for Monday’s Blair Athol and here for Wednesday’s Dalmore.) One of the many Scottish distilleries that produces largely for blends, in this case for Bell’s, Inchgower doesn’t really have much of an identity as a single malt. Outside of appearances in Diageo’s Flora & Fauna series—which highlights its lesser-known distilleries—and the occasional special release, there is no OB release I am aware of. It does show up from indies and all the ones I’ve previously reviewed have been indie releases, and have been in the general age group of this 22 yo from a refill sherry butt which is part of K&L’s 2021 cask exclusives. Well, I liked all those other 20+ yo Inchgowers I’ve reviewed—and I also liked the Blair Athol 12 from this K&L set—and so I’m hopeful this will be good as well.
Inchgower 22, 1998 (56.3%; Sovereign for K&L; refill sherry butt 18066; from a bottle split)
Nose: A little spirity at first and then there’s a metallic note (old coins) along with some orange. The orange brightens with each sniff. Some roasted malt shows up as well with a bit of air. Water brings out some softer notes (hints of toffee, milky cocoa).
Palate: Pretty much as indicated by the nose but with some oaky bite. The texture is rich and it’s approachable enough at full strength. I can’t say it gets very much more interesting with time/air; indeed, it doesn’t change very much except for the development of a slightly vegetal note. Let’s see if water does anything for it. Well, it pushes that vegetal thing back and pulls out more of the citrus but I can’t say it makes it more interesting.
Finish: Medium-long. The sherry seems on the verge of separating at first but it doesn’t finally come apart. There’s a slightly beany, savoury thing happening at the end. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Drinkable enough but rather generic. A good price for a 22 yo whisky in the abstract but probably not the best use of $110 per se. I’d take the younger Blair Athol over this any day.
Rating: 82 points. (Pulled up by water.)