Glen Albyn 1981 Cask #50 (Signatory) Review

Glen Albyn 1981 Cask #50 (Signatory)033

57.5% abv

Score:  83/100


Review from a sample provided by a good mate of mine, Andrew Ferguson of Kensington Wine Market, a long time back.

Ok…let’s do another Glen Albyn.  This time one that was distilled just two years prior to the distillery’s 1983 closure and bottled in 2010, making this a 29 year old single malt.

This Glen Albyn managed to hold onto a rather respectable 57.5% abv even after nearly three decades in wood.  How we do adore the strong older whiskies.  If you really want to suss out a malt’s make-up, the best way to do so is to have the whisky in a healthy state with a high alcohol content.  Alcohol, after all, is the medium for capturing the flavours and aromas we’re so keen to get our hands (and taste buds) on.

The outturn from this particular hogshead was 262 bottles.  Again…not bad for a dram of this age.  And while this one isn’t an immediate charmer, it still has enough going on to make it interesting.

Nose:  Fresh-cracked black pepper.  Dry hay and cereal notes.  Herbal with some green tea.  Grass (not freshly mown, but that which is cut and has had a day or two of moisture and sun).  Slight coastal wet rock and fishiness (odd).  I expected a lot more fruit here.  There’s a little, but more a melange than any actual concentration of individual fruit notes.

Palate:  Pepper.  Farmy and barn-ish.  Here’s the farminess hinted at in the hay on the nose.  Fiery as hell.  Peach tea (is this all the fruit we’re gonna get here?).  Barley is singing loud and clear.  Decent.  Nothing special.

Thoughts:  Always a treat to go back through the ages a bit, but a fine example of how those old and collectable malts are not always collectable for the right reasons.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

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