Berry Brothers & Rudd is another venerable independent bottler which curates a wide variety of spirits beyond single malts (wine, gin, Cognac, etc). This timely review takes us back to a 2018 release and Speyside’s Glen Keith distillery. A bit of historical background via Berry Bros. website:
Glen Keith (a.k.a. Glenkeith), was established on the site of a corn mill in 1957 by Chivas Brothers, who also owned the existing Strathisla distillery nearby.
It was the first new malt distillery to have been founded in Scotland since a previous boom in late Victorian times. Glen Keith originally had three stills; the distillery was designed in order to produce a triple distilled single malt – very unusual for a Speyside distillery.
The number of stills was increased to 5 in 1970 when they permanently switched to double distillation. Glen Keith had the first gas-fired still in Scotland and pioneered the use of computers in the industry.
Its official single malt was first released in 1994. Like several malts from this district, it has a suggestion of fresh wood. The distillery belongs to Chivas (Pernod Ricard) and it is operational.
Which brings us to the actual pour. The nose is lively with mild lemon peel and almond notes but is overloaded with a note of freshly cut grass that does not let up, even with some time to rest and a bit of water. The palate is acidic and hot, with loads of toffee and black pepper mellowing with time. Water brings out a bit of cinnamon, and not much else. The finish is dry and medium in length: full of oak and a reprisal of the grassy note from the nose. Simplicity is in abundance.
Perhaps this bottling is something unusual to challenge people, but there is something off about what’s here that runs inconsistent with expectations: Previous Glen Keith expressions and Berry Bros bottlings I have tried delivered the goods. This did not.
102.8 proof. Reviewed: Cask #82818.
C / $200