Deoch an Doras: Glenugie 1977

tiger4The good people at Chivas Brothers are releasing cask strength bottlings from a number of closed distilleries on their books. Called ‘Deoch an Doras’, which translates literally as ‘drink for the door’ or with a pinch of salt translates as ‘one for the road’, the first two bottlings have been released and both are the first ever official bottlings from these two distilleries. Tonight I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with the Glenugie 1977 which was bottled last year aged 32 years at a ballsy 55.48% (incidentally, how accurate is THAT?!). Lucas reviewed the other bottling back in March – an Inverleven 1973 and you can read his thoughts here. I must confess, I had a little nose at the sample bottle earlier in the week and couldn’t wait to taste it properly. It smelled sexy. Oh so very sexy. So tonight, after a very long day at work, when all my flatmates were out, sitting comfortably on the sofa, commandeering the TV remote, I tuned in some blues/swing music and settled down to this wonderful sherry monster. Looking back, I should have been in front of a roaring log fire, sitting in an imperious leather armchair, wearing braces and a smoking jacket and everything should have been in black and white. It was that kind of a whisky.

glenugie-1977

Glenugie 1977 Deoch an Doras
Bottled 2010 (32yo)
Highland Single Malt
55.48% ABV
£265 available here

Nose: Incredibly complex. Raisins, demerara sugar, mahogany wood, linseed oil, fresh leather, rich toffee and vibrant fruit to name but a few. The cask influences the spirit wonderfully here – significant presence but doesn’t overpower the spirit which is a considerable achievement given its age. Fills the nostrils immediately but you go back again and again and new things appear. Massive.

Palate: Dark chocolate, treacle, prunes and figs give the palate a thick coating of mouthwatering sweetness before slightly bitter oak surges to the fore to give good balance. Toffee apples and dark honey are there too, with hints of butterscotch flitting in and out.

Finish: Huge and delicious. Really quite lively for an old beast and the woody notes on the palate quickly subside leaving lingering berries and currants. Rich plummy sweetness and gentle spices seem to last forever. There is so much going on here it’s ridiculous!

Person: Hercule Poirot. Extremely complex and hugely loveable in equal measures. From an era before the internet, smartphones and cable TV when things were done with pen and paper, on a desk the size (and weight) of a family hatchback and sent by carrier pigeon. It’s not just about drinking this whisky, it’s about experiencing it. Now all I need is a log fire, a bespoke leather armchair and a smoking jacket…

The Tiger

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