Category Archives: Inchgower

Inchgower 2000 Connoisseurs Choice

Bought: Whisky Barrel, 6th May 2015

Ratings:
86.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
82.5/100 – Whiskybase (average from 10 member votes)

Founded in 1871, this Speyside distillery is like the inchworm, quietly getting on with things in the background without many people noticing. The house style is “comparatively sweet, with spice, malt and oak notes, drying in a salty finish.” Inchgower’s claim to fame is that it’s the only Scottish distillery to have been owned by a town council. In 1936, Buckie Town Council acquired the distillery for £1,000 from the bankrupt owners, then sold it on for £4,000 to Arthur Bell & Sons two years later. To this day, Bells is the principle blend that uses Inchgower.

My only previous bottle of Inchgower was a miniature, so it was about time I upgraded to 70cl. Over the years several ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ versions of Inchgower have been mentioned in the Whisky Bible. Here are their ratings, distillation year, and Bible year of issue where they’re listed:

  • 85/100 – 1993 – Whisky Bible 2009
  • 84.5/100 – 1997 – Whisky Bible 2013
  • 85.5/100 – 1998 – Whisky Bible 2015

As you can see, they are very consistent, with an average of 85/100 for all 3 releases. I’m delighted to say that my 2000 version scores 86.5/100 in the 2016 bible, which classifies it as “very good to excellent whiskies definitely worth buying”. The author says, “still one of the chewiest malts around and enough delicious rough edges for this to taste more like an old-fashioned blend than a single malt. And that’s a good thing, by the way.”

Inchgower 2000 70cl

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Inchgower 1993

Bought – Justminiatures, 13th November 2013

Ratings:
85/100 – Whisky Bible 2009
84.2/100 – Whiskybase (average from 7 member votes)
81/100 – Malt Maniacs (from 1 review)

Inchgower – a whisky distillery in Scotland, not to be confused with a very small, former England cricket captain. I’ll be surprised if David Gower has ever drunk any Inchgower, or played cricket on many goat’s meadows, which is the meaning of the word ‘inchgower’. But if he’s ever drunk Bell’s then he’s experienced a hint of Inchgower as it’s one of the malts used in the blend.

The most commonly available single malt from Inchgower is a 14yo by Flora & Fauna. The miniature I have is one of the Connoisseurs Choice range by Gordon & MacPhail (G&M). They have a newer version available now, distilled in 1997, so I’ll be drinking old stock with this one. But from the review comments it looks like good stuff, described as “clean” and “really pleasant drink”. The review in the Whisky Bible 2009  says “sharp as a knife with the malt bristling with attitude. Pleasant, not without the odd dirty moment but with no shortage of muscovado sugar, either.”

84.2/100 on Whiskybase is a very good score albeit for the 70cl version. My miniature has the code JH/BAA printed on the back of the label and I know from the G&M coding that ‘JH’ means it’s bottled in 2008. This allowed me to find the correct bottle on Whiskybase and Malt Maniacs.

Here’s Ben of ‘A Dram A Day’ with his review on You Tube (November 2016):

Inchgower 1993 5cl