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Glen Albyn distillery was founded in 1844 by James Sutherland who was a provost in Inverness. Production started in 1846 but in 1855 the distillery was put up for sale and, as there were no buyers, was eventually converted into a flour mill. In 1884 it was rebuilt by the new owners Gregory & Co., however whisky production did not start again until 1891. Between 1917 and 1919 the distillery was closed and was used as a US naval base for the production of sea mines. Mackinlays & Birnie (who were the owners of the nearby Glen Mhor distillery) purchased Glen Albyn in 1920. They operated it until 1972 when it was acquired by DCL (Distillers Company Limited). The distillery was taken out of production in 1983 and was demolished in 1986.
The nose is grassy, fresh and pleasantly nutty. After a while mint flavours develop, accompanied by lemon biscuit and soapy elements. With water there are hints of vanilla and fudge.
The palate is medium-bodied, buttery, oaky and very peppery. With water notes of cereal and vanilla appear, though a faint tannic dryness remains.
The finish is long and dry. Lemons appear, followed by vanilla notes and a touch of oak.
I have not tried too many Glen Albyn expressions over the years, but this one was the best by far. I like this style of whisky, the way the nutty flavours mingle with soapy and peppery elements, and a drop of water clearly brings the best out of this single malt. A blast from the past, and just my style!