There being no direct flights between Glasgow and Tel Aviv, getting to Glasgow will always involve a transfer. Instead of changing flights, I decided to fly into London and take the train up to Scotland, hoping for a relaxed day of travel, allowing me to arrive fresh in the early evening. Instead, my flight was delayed, and getting from Heathrow to Euston Station for my 4:30 train to Glasgow would have made for an adrenaline filled episode on the Amazing Race. Nevertheless, I made it to the train and got to Glasgow on schedule. Thus, by 9 pm I was at the Bon Accord in Glasgow.
It was a Tuesday night, and the Glasgow Whisky Club was having their monthly meeting at the bar. After they finished the official part of the evening, I went over and said hello, and was immediately invited by John and Alex to have a seat with them and taste their flight of whiskies de jour. We started off with two Good Spirits Company (the local whisky shop) bottlings, of a young and feisty 6 year old Linkwood and a very dignified, and quite good 22 year old Auchentoshan, a good preparation for the following morning’s expedition to said distillery. I was also treated to a Signatory Vintage Glen Garioch 1990, and to the Arran Smugglers’ Series Vol. I ‘The Illicit Stills’. As with every whisky enthusiasts meeting, a great time was had by all.
The Glenugie is the dram I treated myself to while the official club meeting was in session, being a distillery that I haven’t had yet. Glenugie was one of the (non DCL) casualties of that bleak 1983. While in operation, it was the eastern most distillery in Scotland. The latest Glenugie bottling I know of is a 2011 Signatory, and I don’t think there’s much out there in terms of stocks. Curiously, Chivas Bros. bought the rights to the brand quite a while after the distillery was dismantled, but I know of no plans to revive the brand (and if Imperial is any indication, even if rebuilt it would probably get a new name).
And, at the behest of the bartender, I ended the evening taking the customary ‘behind the bar’ shot:
Duncan Taylor Rarest of the Rare 1981 Glenugie, Distilled 11.1981, Bottled 11.2006, Cask 5158, Yield 323 Bottles (51.5% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Bronze, slow legs forming from a residue ring.
Nose: Old sherry, oak, dark dried fruit – with prunes and dried figs, wood spices. This whisky is deep and dark. After a bit, notes of a warm honey cake and licorice come through. This is a very classic sherry bomb on the nose.
Palate: Minty sherry, marshmallow, licorice and orange peel. The mint on this one is like nothing I’ve had before, and the palate on this dram is fascinating, and the nose will give you no hint of what’s going on in the palate.
Linger: Thick sweetness on the tongue, dryness in the mouth, malt comes through on the finish despite being 25 years old, with a sweet citrus note.
The Bon Accord is a world renowned whisky bar, and given more time, there are quite a few other bottles I’d love to explore there, many of which you can see on the shelves behind me in the picture.
This expression is a very unique sherry bomb, with that curious mint still running around in my thoughts!