Info: Distilled by Girvan grain distillery in December 1989 and filled into cask 10805. Bottled by Old Particular (Douglas Laing) in June 2015.
Colour: Ripening straw.
Nose: Nice, light and sprightly… fairly spirity with a great grain nose, slightly closed, but opens up with time and a bit of warmth. Lovely old, subtle nut tones from the cask. Sweet vanilla and milk chocolatey hints.
Palate: The higher abv is fairly easy going on your palate – very slightly hot maybe, but the age helps to make it rounded and creamy. It’s medium thick feeling, and fairly sweet.
Finish: The finish is quite caramel sweet and fairly tasty, although not particularly long. However it does give your chest a good warming hug, with a few tannin hints to keep it interesting and tasty.
Water: Often you should be careful about putting too much water in an old dram, it can drown it. However this one calls for a small drop just to help open it up a little on the nose and adding a further sweetness to it. It eases the palate up instantly making it much easier to approach if you find the higher than normal ABV a little too much and it sweetens it up further.
Thoughts: Girvan and Invergordon are my two favourite grain distilleries, and this Girvan from Old Particular is a great old gent of a dram. It’s not quite as complex as many a single malt, but it makes up for that by being really well priced and extremely drinkable.
Available: Mostly sold out, so get looking around. Around £80. Samples still available at Master of Malt here. Also full bottles available at WhiskySite (around £95). There are other similar casks bottled by Old Particular, I’m sure they’d all be just as good.
So, how does this compare to Girvan’s official (proprietary) 25yo bottling?
My full review of the official bottling is available here on SWB. I guess the most obvious difference is the price… The official bottling is 42% abv and £245. The Old Particular is 51.1% abv and around £80. I know which one I’d buy. But is the ~£150 price difference between bottles noticeable? The Old Particular whisky is slightly lighter in colour, the official one being a little more golden… slightly different casks. The nose on the official bottling is a little deeper, more chocolaty. The official bottling palate is lower in abv so no water required, the Old Particular is a little thicker feeling. Is there a £150 difference between them? Not really, so grab the Old Particular one and enjoy!
Thanks to Old Particular and Girvan for the samples.