Coleburn 17yo (1965/1982) G&M

The Grande Dame

Coleburn: beautiful building, interesting name, obscure product. Just the dram I was looking for….

colebDescription: not much is known about this one. distilled in 1965 back at the Speyside Coleburn Distillery and matured in an unknown cask. Bottled 17 years later by Gordon & MacPhail for their old brown label Connoisseurs Choice.

Nose: old and dusty. The scent of mouldy furniture, sun-warmed linoleum, bees wax with a whiff of eucalyptus and faint notes of orange peel. More? How about the smell of burning leaves, cigarette ash, gumdrops, some vanilla with maybe an unpleasant note of tooth decay?

Mouth: light bodied, with crystal fresh like taste of glacier water on the palate, but also somehow, ashy, metallic and drying. I would describe it like chewing on nutmeg sprinkled tobacco leaves, with a glass of water to rinse it through.

Finish: fairly short: tobacco, nutmeg, with a peppery edge.


The Verdict: it would be interesting to know how much damage the 33 years in a bottle did to the original profile. But the result is still worth the price: I spend half an hour on the nose alone, it was truly fascinating.
The rest of the whisky was almost as captivating as it was disappointing: the palate and nose are conflicting and clearly don’t belong together. And believe me, the balance matters to the overall score. I might have given the taste a higher score if it hadn’t come together with this stunner of a nose.
Score: 82

Nose: 25

Taste: 20
Finish: 19 Balance: 18
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house