Category Archives: Glen Keith

Glen Keith ‘Distillery Edition’

Bought: Morrisons, 18th February 2018

Ratings:
74.25/100 – Whiskybase (average from 6 member votes)

Glen Keith distillery got going in Speyside in 1957, was mothballed in 1999 and reopened in June 2013. Owned by Chivas Brothers its output was destined for blending, forming part of Chivas Regal, Passport and 100 Pipers. There have been plenty of independent bottlings of Glen Keith single malt but very few official releases from the distillery. The first was in 1994 with the appearance of the ‘Glen Keith 1983’. Whiskybase list only 9 releases of single malt from the distillery with the ‘Distillery Edition’ being the most recent one in 2017. Of the previous 8, 3 were before the 1999 closure and 5 were after the 2013 reopening. All are over 10 years old and score from 81/100 (good) to 88/100 (excellent) on Whiskybase.

What isn’t over 10 years old or anywhere near it is the ‘Distillery Edition’. You have to think that a lot of the whisky in it is 3-4 years old since production started again in 2013. The good news is that there’s likely to be some vintage stuff in the mix from 1999 or earlier. Then E150 colorant is added to keep everything looking consistent (boo, hiss!). For a distillery NAS (no age statement) I would generally expect most of the liquid to be between 6-8 years old. Clearly that’s not the case with the ‘Distillery Edition’. But is that a bad thing? New distilleries such as Wolfburn have had great success with 3-year-old releases. Where Glen Keith score over Wolfburn is that they have old stock to mix with the new to help remove any rough, spirity edges.

Although the score on Whiskybase doesn’t promise much the comments online at Master of Malt and Amazon are surprisingly good. They include, “pleasantly surprised! Wasn’t expecting much for the price but is pretty decent”, “nice smooth whisky”, “a good dram for a nightcap” and “everything I like in a young Speyside. Light, slight fruitiness, nice sharp nose, nicely balanced.”

Tasting notes from Master of Malt:

Nose: Sweet and crisp with orchard fruits and a malty character. Toffee apples and banana skins linger.
Palate: Through oaked dryness and an oily note comes vanilla sweetness with helpings of apricot yoghurt, dried mango and nectarines. Suggestions of chocolate pudding, a slight grassiness and a little spice form the backdrop.
Finish: Subtle floral notes and new oak, with a little honey.

Not a review about the ‘Distillery Edition’ but here’s Ben of ‘A Dram A Day’ with a history of the Glen Keith distillery before he reviews an independent bottling:

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Glen Keith 1993

Bought – Lincoln Whisky Shop, 4th March 2014

Bottled in 2011, this Glen Keith is at least 17 years old, if not 18. When hunting for reviews I found another two ‘Connoisseur’s Choice’ bottles from 1993, one bottled in 2005 and the other in 2009. This 2011 seems too recent to have got a review but comments on the bottles from 2005 and 2009 suggest it’s likely to be average/good. At least it’s 46% so it will have a decent kick to it. Not a malt that would set the whisky world alight but an interesting one to compare with my earlier bottle of 1983 Glen Keith.

Glen Keith 1993 5cl

Glen Keith 1983

Bought – Online Whisky Auction, 22nd December 2013

Ratings:
76/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 9 reviewers)
79/100 – Whisky Fun (February 2005)

This bottle of Glen Keith was released sometime in the 1990s (probably between 1994-1998) before the distillery was mothballed in 1999. It remained closed for 14 years before opening again in June 2013. First founded in 1957 and opened in 1960, Glen Keith has the claim-to-fame of being the first new distillery to open in Speyside in the 20th century. The Glen Keith malt was a component of Chivas Regal, 100 Pipers and the Passport blend. I’ve got Chivas Regal but 100 Pipers and Passport are still on my shopping list.

Glen Keith 1983 5cl