Category Archives: Glenesk (closed 1985)

Glenesk 5-year-old

Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 23rd August 2016

86.17/100 – Whiskybase (average from 8 member votes)
85/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 3 maniac scores)

The Glenesk distillery, near Montrose on the east of Scotland, closed in 1985. The distillery had several different names over the years but bottlings I’ve seen at auction are either called Glenesk or Hillside. The majority of the distillery buildings were demolished in 1996 but the maltings remain as warehousing.

This 5-year-old distillery release could have been distilled in 1980 but probably began life in the 1970s. The neck level isn’t brilliant but it’s not bad for a 30yo+ whisky with a screw cap. Evaporation is happening but very slowly. At 75cl it’s probably still got more than 70cl in it, which is the UK standard bottle size today. I believe this bottle was only for the Italian market because it has “prodotto e imbottigliato da” (produced and bottled by) on the label. And you rarely see bottles without an Italian import seal over the cap. Interestingly ‘The Whisky Exchange’ say there’s colour added, which might be the case but it’s so light I find that hard to believe.

Scoring over 86/100 on Whiskybase is a fantastic rating but unfortunately the only member to leave a comment scores it 72/100, which is hardly representative. Nevertheless, as reviews are hard to find, for reference his thoughts are “very light in colour and so it comes in the nose, fresh barley perhaps with some apple, just as in the mouth, a bit flat, straw-like, very short on the finish. I think anyone who does not like the typical notes of whisky with some smoke is served here rather well. A whisky with little character.”

I’m surprised but delighted that such a young whisky gets a great score on both Whiskybase and Malt Maniacs. Bottles sell for around £150 at auction or £350 when purchasing from a shop (who have won it at auction and added a huge premium).