Glen Albyn G&M 35yo (1975/2010)

Loch Ness mysteries in a bottle


DSCI1537View of the Beauly Firth at the mouth of the Caledonian Canal,
100m from the grounds of the former Glen Albyn distillery

Last summer,  I stayed in Inverness for a couple of nights, it only came natural to do a bit of whisky relic hunting during my evening strolls. Nowadays no one would likely make the connection between whisk and Inverness. Only a few of you would probably point out to me that the town is home to Bairds, an important supplier of malted barley.

Up to the 80’s Inverness could proudly say it had no less than three small distilleries within the city limits. All was fine with the world until the overzealous industry created the infamous whisky lake that swept away two centuries of whisky production in Inverness. In 1983 both Glen Albyn and Glen Mohr had to close their doors, soon afterwards in 1985 Millburn too fell into demise. Though The Millburn buildings still stands to this day, all my efforts to find a trace of the former distilleries were in vain. Demolished to make place for a mall or hardware stores, their names erased from history. As for their whiskies, I didn’t find a single bottle of Inverness whisky in the local pubs.

At last I found an affordable sample here in Belgium with the good people from Whiskyhuis

(disclaimer: I had a little peek at the whiskyfun review, there are notes that I agree with, but this no copy-paste review from Mr. Serge Valentin)

Most likely unpeated or ever so slightly peated. The distillery used the famous Loch Ness as its water supply. So in fact you’re drinking the water swam in.

1462Nose: a soft and amazingly fresh nose for a 35yo. Notes of mandarins and Turkish delights with a touch of mint in the first layer. Some faint floral tones of orange blossom and mineral notes of chalk lay underneath.

Mouth: entirely deviant from the nose. With a waxy body and palate that is just a tad bitter. It mainly comprises elements of spicy oak, pear juice, wood polish and grist.

Finish: long and lingering vanilla with a touch of honey and a whiff of oak.

The Verdict
Well what to make of all this?  Whiskyfun describes it as a typical “Inverness” style whisky. Could be, but as this is my first, its impossible for me to validate that claim.
That being said, there is indeed something about this whisky: it has such a fragile and most unusual profile. The nose is exquisite, though it was a bit on the faint side, the mouth was interesting but not that appealing, but the rich finish balanced it out. Not saying this was one of the best whiskies I’ve ever had, but it was certainly one of the more intriguing ones.

So, burned out and deep down afraid that you have tasted it all, or just adventurous and looking for something that’s above average and out of the ordinary?  This mysterious whisky might just be what you need.