Review: Girvan Patent Still – 25 Year Old

grain_gir25yoThe Girvan Patent Still – 25yo – 42% abv

Colour: Light and clear gold to straw in colour – natural colouring and nice to see! – Doesn’t the bottle look sexy too eh?

Nose: Light and refreshing, gentle grains encased in perfect amounts of sweet vanilla oak. Well aged but it doesn’t smell old, it’s just had time to breath, relax and let off some alcohol steam.

Palate: Fairly thick feeling oils in your mouth, but they’re easy going on you. Just enough ABV and cask influence to give you a touch of spices and bite, but the over riding thing is a perfect velvety sweetness with a background of grains and oak, vanilla and toffee apples.

Finish: Slight spicy tickle, gentle warming across your chest and medium length of sweet summery fruits.

Bonus Info: This is not chill-filtered (you may have thought it is by the ABV)… Single grain spirit does not contain fatty acids like single malt does and therefore doesn’t turn hazy when water is added. It’s actually the reason why blends tend to be filtered at warmer temperatures than malts!

Thoughts: So, it’s not a single malt, let’s get that out there straight away. It’s produced via different methods and with different grains, and it’s most often found in blends… But let’s not ignore this – because it’s fantastic, good grain spirit is amazing, we need to see more of it not hidden away in blends! It may not blow your head off with complexity, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for and this is bang on the money for what in it’s own way is a complex grain whisky presented well. What makes me happy is that this is really awesome stuff, I want some. What makes me sad is the price… Generally up till now you can find single grain whiskies of age at generally cheaper prices than their single malt brothers. For example one website I looked at had a 21yo Girvan for around £65 next to this 25yo Girvan for £250. With this release there is obviously an awareness of those higher single malt prices and this is placed to match or even exceed them, which however wonderful it is probably takes it out of my price bracket, and that makes me sad because I was a bottle, fairly badly! Easily into the 90’s for score.

Thanks to William Grant & Sons for the sample!

Available from The Whisky Exchange for £245.

girvan25sample