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The Glen Elgin distillery is located in the heart of Speyside and was founded in 1898, the last distillery to be built during the boom years of Scottish whisky in the 1890ies. Today Glen Elgin is part of Diageo and still forms an essential part of the White Horse blend. This particular Glen Elgin was released in Duncan Taylor’s Octave collection that offers single malt and single grain whiskies matured for a final few of months in octave casks with a capacity of approx. 50 litres. It was distilled in 1991 and bottled in 2011 from cask no. 844,593 after having been matured for an additional three months in reconstructed ex-sherry wood octave casks.
The nose is rich with a distinct sherry imprint, figs, raisins and some very faint rubber. With water the nose becomes sweeter: I detected marzipan, almonds and fruitcake.
The palate is medium-bodied and peppery, with the sherry again taking center stage. As you would expect from such a whisky there are dark fruits such as raisins and plums. With water the pepper disappears, leaving more room for the fruits and releasing sweeter elements like marzipan.
The finish is of medium length: after a surprisingly voluminous beginning it fades away quickly.
This is a perfectly enjoyable single malt. The nose is delightfully sherried and the palate displays many interesting facets. I would recommend experimenting with water as every additional drop seems to bring forward another, different flavour component. It is only the finish that does not quite meet expectations. In short: a delightful single malt of the sherried kind.