Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 16th December 2015
In July 2015 I tried my first Coleburn single malt whisky. It was distilled in 1981, four years before the distillery was closed, and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail. It was rather boring and convinced me that I only needed a miniature to tick this Speyside distillery off my collection list. Coleburn whisky was always intended for blending, which might explain why it’s hard to find a single malt that gets rave reviews. Not that a dram of Coleburn can’t be a pleasant experience but if a 70cl bottle costs you £200+ at auction you want it to taste at least as good as a £30 malt from a supermarket.
80/100 on Whiskybase is quite a reasonable score but 69/100 on Malt Maniacs is the lowest score a Coleburn gets out of 26 rated bottles. Experienced whisky reviewer Mark Dermul scores this dram 73/100 on Whiskybase and comments “the nose starts fresh on grasses, citrus fruit, gooseberries and some kiwi. A drop of honey. Some camphor joins in. This is a pleasant nose, but with a twist. I cannot quite pinpoint it, though. It is a bit scary on the palate, though. Upon arrival I get some grasses and pepper, but then an immediate and unstoppable floral element appears that quickly goes into overdrive towards soap. By the second sip, you are ready to blow bubbles. Yikes! A medium long, soapy finish ends the ordeal. Special and pleasant enough nose, but on the palate it goes south.”
The Malt Maniac votes include 72/100 from Whiskyfun author Serge Valentin whose review can be found here (with no mention of soap).