Warning – Repetition Alert - Because people may read this independently from my last review, some of the information in the pre-amble is copied from it and pasted for completeness (with some changes).
Back in 2009 (I think) the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Glenora could continue using the name Glen Breton. Apparently it was a 9 year court battle waged by the SWA, which was concerned that the name would confuse buyers into thinking it was a Scotch.
Just before the ruling there was a newspaper article about the upcoming judgement. Ever the astute investor, I, a non-whisky drinker at the time, went out and bought 4 bottles, 2 of the 10 YO rare and 2 of the ice wine cask finish (the first bottles of whisky I think I ever bought). I figured they would be worth something if the name had to be changed. I remember discussing this with the person who ultimately did inspire my whisky journey, and he didn’t think the investment would pan out. He did not think highly of what was inside the packaging (not sure if he had tasted it).
Turns out, the bottles didn’t appreciate in value (oops) and I went on with my life for another ~18 months. Then, in the fall of 2010 I opened the Rare. In January 2011, we opened this as the second bottle (after the Rare) at our inaugural whisky club meeting. My notes indicate the consensus that the nose had wine, and was harsh. We ranked it B to B+.
The bottle was used “sparingly" since being opened in 2010 and probably gassed since some time in 2011. I probably did not open it more than once or twice between 2012 and 2016, when, in July, I poured off a 60 cc sample of this and gave the rest to @Nelom.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. Afterward I combined the remaining 1 oz of each expression to assess in the future. Still a single malt, mind you…
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Sweet, fruity. Grapes, apples. Later a hint of licorice. Started off rich and syrupy on the pour but then became lighter. Interesting. Slightly more complex than the rare.
Sweet. Very light (a little weak). Slightly bitter in the development. No significant specific flavours . Water simply makes it “smoother”. (20.5/25)
Short to medium. Astringent. Unremarkable.
If by balanced, you mean the nose and palate are relatively boring in the same way, then this is balanced.
Score: Neat - 79.5 /100 With Water: 80 /100
Combining this with the rare (water added during the tasting), the palate is a little richer and has a little more character. It would probably rate 82-83. I will let the last two 30 cc remnants marry for an unspecified period of time, and when I have the opportunity to taste it, will update the review in the comments below.
One and a third years later, I think the 2 expressions have married long enough.
Nose: faint, dried fruits, spirit, dust - 18/25
Taste: Bitter, some fruits, pepper in development - 20/25
Finish: Pepper, medium long - 20/25
Balance: Nose is too faint, not mush to say for itself - 20
Combined Score - 78/100
Interesting, I scored it worse than each individual malt.
Lesson learned... no more GB for me.