Whisky Connosr

Glen Breton Rare 10 Year Old

There's some promise down the road

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@Pudge72Review by @Pudge72

5th Feb 2011


Glen Breton Rare 10 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the distillery, located in the Cape Breton Highlands of Nova Scotia, this past August. My friend was kind enough to give me a bottle of this for Christmas.

From a value perspective, it loses out as it promotes (takes advantage of?) the fact that it is the sole single malt whisky produced in Canada. Can$90 (in Ontario) for a 750 ml bottle seems quite steep for a 10 y.o. from a young distillery (as a comparison, Laphroaig Quarter Cask runs Can$65...though I realize that their price point can likely be lower due to higher volume production and lower capital costs for a long-established distillery).

Nose: Honey and, especially the longer it sits, vanilla are the dominant aromas. Underlying notes of a light cereal similar to Corn Flakes, peach are present before adding a small amount (less than a teaspoon) of filtered water. The dilution brings out a slightly sweet aroma that might be comparable to bubble gum (others that may have noticed this note may be able to put a better descriptor to it). 20/25

Palate: Citrus and dry grass. Unfortunately, the rather pleasant nose gives way to a palate that gets knocked down by the astrigency of the alcohol. 17/25

Body/Balance: Thin, overall harsh (I'm still developing this area in my tasting experiences). 16/25

Finish: Short, increasing in length with multiple sips. Vanilla, with hints of peach and faint bubblegum. The duration of the finish, combined with the still strong presence of the alcohol cause the peach and bubblegum to only be found with some effort. 18/25

My impression of this dram is that (at least based on reviews of higher rated scotch, and of my very limited experience in tasting SMSW's) the presence of the alcohol is excessive. That is why I am hopeful that an older bottling (12 or 15 years?) down the road from this distillery will be more mellow, allowing the subtle flavours to become more present and more consistent throughout the tasting process. The characteristics of this single malt whisky would appear to be comparable to Lowland or Speyside malts.

As this is my first formal review (of my first full size bottle of whisky in my cabinet) I would appreciate any constructive criticism (or compliments) that any member of this site may have.

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Jimmy2feathers commented


I thought your review was excellent, informative and clear. Your comments were helpful and I would tend to agree with everything you wrote.

SCORE out of 100 - 87!

I look forward to future reviews.

Jimmy2feathers (a Nova Scotian BTW)

13 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

Thank you for the kind comments and feedback Jimmy2feathers. A review of Glenlivet 12 will be forthcoming shortly, when time allows. In the "Battle of the Gateway Glens", the 'fiddich triumphs in my humble opinion.

13 years ago 0

Jimmy2feathers commented

From the Speyside Region my preferences are with Balvenie, Longmorn & Glenfarclas. I have had several expressions of Balvenie and Glenfarclas and they never fail to impress. Balvenie 10 Founder's Reserve was once my "go to" malt but it is no longer available in our market. I have a treasured Glenfarclas 21 that is plucked from the cabinet when I am in the mood. We used to get a Longmorn 15 at an excellent price (comparatively speaking of course) but this has been replaced by a 16 at a significantly higher price - I haven't tried it yet.

I look forward to your review of the Glenlivet 12 - that is where I started (hope that doesn't sound like a "whisky snob") and I still enjoy it, especially as a warmer weather drink. With our weather recently I''ll be sticking with the peat monsters for a while yet!

SlĂ inte

13 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

Just some additional commentary, now that the bottle is now 2/3 empty and has been open for almost nine months:

While the nose has improved slightly, the palate is dying an increasingly painful death under the very astringent notes (bad wood selection for the casks?...maybe someone with more knowledge of wood selection in general could give feedback.) Very strange tradeoff between nose and palate, and not a welcome one. The pleasant notes of the profile seem to be very nicely promoted (and the astrigency on the palate has been significantly cancelled out) when a dram is poured into an unrinsed glass that previously contained a dram with sherry and/or fruit notes. So far the GBR 10 has been greatly improved in a glass that previously held Jefferson's Presidential Select 18 yo (very nice cherry/toffee notes), and one that held Strathisla 12.

I will likely finish the GBR 10 in this manner, trying it after having other bottles with a fruit profile (Black Bush and Te Bheag, especially) that are in my collection.

I am rooting for this distillery (since it is one of 'the little guys' and is Canadian), however I am very nervous about taking the plunge on the 15 yo 'Battle of the Glen' bottle (@ $150 in Nova Scotia only, at this point) until I can sample it and/or get extensive feedback on it first).

12 years ago 0

JasonHambrey commented

Did you ever try the Battle of the Glen? I have never had it, but I heard that bottling was better. I have some similar views about Glen Breton - but a word on price - it is expensive, I agree. But, with the size of Glen Breton and the way it operates I imagine it is more expensive to produce per bottle than a much bigger producer. I look at all the craft bottlings out nowadays and find they usually are costing a fair bit more

All that said, I also don't think the quality of this bottle is up to 90$

9 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

I haven't had the chance @JasonHambrey to try the Battle of the Glen. My only other Glen Breton was the 17 yo Icewine Cask finish. Not much of an improvement on the 10, unfortunately. I really would like the chance to try the BotG at some point. Ontario has scaled back the pricing on this bottle, to around $78, in the past year.

9 years ago 0