Nose: what strikes first here is the big freshness and the rather magnificent whirls of notes of sultanas, figs, dates and dried bananas. It’s rather less ‘polished and smooth’ than expected, and more nervous and fruity at first nosing. Develops more classically, though, on whiffs of cigar box, dried mushrooms (ceps), wax polish, mint flavoured tea, also earl grey, marzipan and a mildly invading sherry. Hints of crème brûlée topped with fresh ripe strawberries. It’s all superbly balanced but as often with very old whiskies, the verdict should lie on the palate, not on the nose.
Mouth: nervous but less so than on the nose, starting more on heather honey and bananas flambéed as well as a little coconut liqueur. Less sherried than on the nose for sure. Develops on many fresh and dried fruits, figs first, with the oak starting to talk after a few seconds. Liquorice sticks and cinnamon. Finally apple pie (with cinnamon!), plum pudding and just a little apricot and strawberry jam. Extremely lively and fresh after all these years, not an old whisky that you ‘must’ like just because it’s old and ‘decanterised’.
Finish: drier, rather long, with more tannins and cocoa now but nothing drying. Always that fresh fruitiness in the background.
Comments: superb old Glengoyne, very complex and magnificently balanced. SGP:640 - 91 points.