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Glenflagler, better known as that one obscure lowlander that you should try it if you have the opportunity, but shouldn’t waste too much money on. A relic from another era when the industry believed in the viability of conjoined single malt and grain distilleries. The Lowlands had no less than four of them: Ladyburn, Kinclaith, Inverleven and Glenflagler. Today these names are just footnotes in the grand history of Scotch whisky and more often than not just bought as a collector’s item. Well today I’m going to crack open one of the two Glenflagler miniatures in my possession. It’s not the more common 5yo edition, I will definitely be reviewing that one at some point in time, but an NAS… Wait an NAS when your age statement release is only 5 years old? We can presume that this dram is only three or four years of age. God have mercy on my soul.
Description: an NAS official release, black label rare all malt, bottled at 40% ABV.
Nose: warm grain, whole wheat biscuits with fruity fragrances of pear.
Mouth: medium body with only one note on the palate. That of apple cider, sour at first but bitter afterwards. Make that very bitter, unappealingly bitter even. (with water added: the bitterness is under control now, alas except for some vanilla no new flavours can break free).
Finish: short, bitter and drying, with oak tannins and white pepper.
Verdict: expecting a soft, unstable watery concoction closer to the profile of a cheap blend than that of a single malt. What I got was a young, rough and unpolished whisky, that was mostly unattractive due to its bitterness. Flavour wise it was ok, I guess. As already mentioned in the intro, try if you can but don’t waste too much money on its and maybe keep another dram by your side to flush it through.