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1988 Glen Elgin 15 Year Manager's Dram Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review: Exploring The First Ever Bottling of the Manager's Dram Series

Updated: Jul 7

Glen Elgin Distillery

We are now approaching the apex sherry drams of the Manager’s Dram tasting!

Nestled in a stunning location in the heart of Speyside’s rolling hills, Glen Elgin is a relatively small distillery, with the capacity to produce 1.8 million litres of pure alcohol a year. The distillery draws the water used in its production from the springs of the beautiful Millbuies Loch, located to the southeast of the distillery.

Glen Elgin has three wash stills, which each have a capacity of 7,000 litres, and three spirit stills, which have a capacity of 8,000 litres. Glen Elgin’s wash and spirit still set up is a unique part of the distillery’s identity. All six have an unusual “small tall” shape, although the spirit stills have a flatter pot than the wash stills. The lyne arms have a gentle incline, which leads outside to the worm tubs. Additionally, Glen Elgin has one of the highest ratios of washback size to still size of any distillery in Scotland, with the six larch washbacks having a 40,600 litre capacity compared to the 7000 litre capacity of the wash stills. Glen Elgin is one of the few remaining distilleries, that still use copper worms to cool the alcohol vapours.

At the latest Whisky Legends tasting, hosted by Gregory Cloyd, the Amongst the Whiskey Team (Nick Anderson & Jes Smyth, respectively) were fortunate enough to enjoy his beautiful garden during an evening of legendary tasting. We explored each distillery and its history as we tasted our way through an epic Manager's Dram lineup while sitting around a table with some of the best company in the world. It was a privilege to taste such rare whisky, and we are honored to share our tasting notes with you today.


Company on Label: Glen Elgin Distillery

Whiskey Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Mash Bill Percentages: 100% malted barley

Proof: 120.4°

Age: 15 years (distilled in 1973 and bottled in January 28th, 1988)

Further identification: On the front label: A sherry cask specially selected and bottled at natural strength for the S.M.D. Staff Association by Ronnie L Grant.


Nick's Thoughts

Nose: Huge, rich, thick, and complex. Balsamic vinegar character stands tall alongside salted graham cracker and rich, undulating sherry influence. Soft horse barn hay, lemon peel zest, and the edge of a cliff can be smell late in the glass.

Palate: Wow. A rich mouthfeel that sticks in the roof of the mouth with notes of raisin, sugary sweet red grapes, and lovely nectarine. The finish carries wonderful pear tones that are wet and juicy. Late in the glass some kiwi water tones crop up. A bit of dry cacao and warm pour over coffee are found at last sip.

Jes's Thoughts

Nose: Thick-cut bread dipped in rich syrup, sticky and decadent. The sherry is abundant but beautifully balanced and spurred a lively debate at the table: is this a PX or oloroso cask finish? Late in the glass, I'm taken to a peaceful brunch on a screened-in porch tucked cozily on a seaside cliff, the ocean spray salting the breeze. I could spend hours with this nose.

Palate: YUM! This is a beautiful fruit basket on a sandy boardwalk. Grape skins, toasted bread, and whispers of white pepper lacing velvet on my tongue and coating every inch. It's just lovely and so yummy. Beautiful. Give me more!


Rating: 4.5/5

This is whisky that doesn’t suck. The ATW Team would definitely like to keep this amongst the whisk(e)y!


Written by: The Amongst the Whiskey Team




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