Whisky Review #132: Girvan Patent Still 28 Years Old

After another hiatus, I have returned!

These rather long breaks between reviews have been the product of work, commitments and sheer inertia, but I shall endeavour to cultivate the habit of consistently blogging once again going forward.

This week’s review focuses on a rather interesting single grain offering from Girvan distillery, which is owned by William Grant & Sons (and who also own the Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Kininvie and Ladyburn distilleries and brands).

This expression was distilled sometime in 1985/1986, matured for 28 years in American oak and bottled at 42% abv. It was savoured earlier this month at the Exquisite outlet in Schiphol Airport and cost €15 for a 45ml pour.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

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Girvan Patent Still 28 Years Old

Girvan Patent Still 28 Years Old (Bottled at 42% abv)

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: Initial entry presents caramel, honeycomb and a pronounced hit of acetone, followed by vanilla, brandy butter, oak and popcorn. Wheat hints follow through later to accentuate the proceedings and there’s fudge and lime in the mix. (19/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents a brief flash of caramel followed by oak, wheat, ginger, vanilla and acetone. With time, white pepper, popcorn and pencil shavings emerge alongside cinnamon and nutmeg. (21/25)

Finish: Medium to long on the finish, with hints of cinnamon, white pepper and caramel intermingling nicely with the oak, ginger, acetone and a hint of nutmeg. (20/25)

Balance: A fairly well-balanced grain whisky which exhibits some of the classic notes that one would expect without being overly grainy. Even at that age and alcohol strength, it exhibits a fair bit of a feisty side and the mouthfeel is generally drying and spicy with the oak becoming more pronounced over time. (20/25)

Rating: 80/100

This expression is rather difficult to find these days and usually commands a pretty penny at whisky bars which stock it. I therefore consider myself rather fortunate to have sampled it at Exquisite for a mere €15 prior to my flight back to Singapore and it was a rather nice way to bring my European sojourn to a close.

Until the next review, have a wonderful week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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