Last week’s theme was 20+ yo whiskies from distilleries from different production regions of Scotland. They included an official 20 yo Arran and two indies; a 23 yo from an unnamed Speyside distillery, bottled for Costco; and a 25 yo Tomatin bottled by Hunter Laing. Here now to close out the month is another 20+ yo whisky. This is from the Speyside but the distillery is not a secret: it’s a 24 yo Glen Keith bottled by The Glasgow Whisky Co. for K&L (or at least they got part of the cask). Glen Keith is an un-storied distillery around which there is no romance. As with most distilleries in Scotland, it pumps out malt for its owner’s blends. And as with most distilleries in Scotland, individual casks from the distillery can be rather good indeed. I’ve liked a number of indie Glen Keiths in the past—when their mix of malt, fruit and oak comes together well, it can be rather good indeed. I hope that’s the case with this cask.
Glen Keith 24, 1993 (55.6%; Glasgow Whisky Co. for K&L; hogshead; from a bottle spirit)
Nose: Comes in mild with some tart-sweet apple, some malt, some grass and some oak. The fruit expands as it sits, picking up some ripe pear and some berry sweetness. More acid here too with time (lemon zest). A few drops of water accentuate the malt and push the acid back.
Palate: A little more oomph here and the fruit is clearly in the lead (and muskier here) with the oak coming up behind. Nice texture and approachable at full strength. With time there’s more acid (lemon) and the oak expands a bit too (getting spicy rather than tannic). Okay, let’s see what a bit of water does. It sweetens the fruit (still mostly apple and pear) and turns the lemon to cider; more malt too.
Finish: Long. The fruit goes on for a while and then the oak spice has the last word. As on the palate with water with less oak spice coming through now.
Comments: A very nice, characteristic Glen Keith. No fireworks, just solid bourbon cask Speyside whisky. Not sure how much this went for in 2017 (or whenever it hit K&L) but this would have been a very good value in the vicinity of $100.
Rating: 87 points.