Glenburgie / Glencraig


Glenburgie distillery is located in Alves, near Forres in Morayshire and is rumoured to have began life in 1810 under William Paul, however it is officially declared to have been founded in 1829 under the name Kilnflat.

Kilnflat was closed in 1870, then reopened by Charles Kay in 1878 under the now familiar Glenburgie name.

Glenburgie saw various different ownerships between 1890-1930 and even a period of closure between 1927-35

Glenburgie was purchased by Hiram Walker in 1936


Hiram Walker became Hiram Walker-Goodman-Worts Ltd and then taken over by Allied Lyons in 1987, only for Allied Lyons to become Allied Domecq and then a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard (the current owners) in 2005.

Between 1958-81 two Lomond stills were installed and utilised to produce a second and different style of malt which they called Glencraig. Obviously, having only been produced for a little over 20 years Glencraig is quite rare and can be hard to find now.


Distillery photo with kind permission by  Teun van Wel


More great distillery information here, thanks to Malt Madness





General whisky characteristics: OB bottlings are quite rare as most of the production goes into blends, one of which is Ballantine's. When you find one expect a good dram with lots of darker fruits and nuts.


Glenburgie,  distilled 1992, bottled 2007, 15y, 58.8% ABV

A jolly good OB from Glenburgie, bottled at cask strength for distillery sales only.

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Finest Stollen (German Christmas cake with light fruit and marzipan) and delightful little Vanilla Christmas biscuits.

Palate: Light fruit, marzipan and vanilla. Very smooth and long with the flavours hanging from the roof of the mouth.

With 5 drops of water: Even longer, now with more almond and butterscotch, also slightly oily texture.

Overall Impression: I once ran a tasting where I offered a Glenfarclas QC as my definitive Christmas dram. This is also a typical Christmas dram, but for a German as opposed to English palate as the flavour is fruity, but softer and gentler with more marzipan.
An excellent whisky!


Glenburgie,  15y, 46%

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Amber

Nose: Initially very fresh and clean with dried nuts, a hint of freshly sawn wood and a dash of marzipan served in a coconut shell

Palate: An immediate explosion onto the palate with the marzipan and coconut leading the onslaught. Do I also detect a hint of mango? Maybe.

Finish: Medium and tingly on the front half of the tongue with a slightly dry aftertaste which includes wood, malt and vanilla..

Overall Verdict: A veritable explosion and jolly good too.

I revisited this whisky a few days later, but using the Classic Malts glass;

Nose: Once again initially very fresh but this lasted only seconds before the true nose of nuts, marzipan, vanilla milkshake and a hint of coconut in the background prevailed. After 3-4 minutes the nose expands to a very aromatic red wine character.




Independent Bottlers


G&M, Glenburgie, 10y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Dark oak

Nose: Initially dark fruits (raisins, currants and prunes) but soon evolving into new tyres, which eventually grow hints of perfume.

Palate: Smooth and slightly oily mouth-feel with only faintly rubbery raisins.

Finish: Long and smooth with very slight hints of smoky new tarmac

Overall Impression: I'm torn between liking and not liking this one. The slight tarmac on the finish can be off-putting, but otherwise I like it.


Jean Boyer, Glenburgie, 1999-2008, 43% ABV

"Gifted Stills"

Typical cost of this bottle; Unknown, but I suspect


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Clear, almost water

Nose: Oh dear, rubbery baby vomit with a hint of Parmesan cheese.

Palate: Farmy and very fresh. Slightly peppery cereal and a fruity freshness with minty apples and pear.

Finish: Long with hints of rubbery fruit.

Overall Impression: It takes some work to get past that nose but when you do, the palate is more revealing. Still a little young in my opinion.



G&M for LMDW, Glenburgie, 29y, 54.5%

Distilled 1.8.1984, bottled 7.2014, Cask 8510

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light butterscotch

Nose: Now this is immediately very fragrant, very pleasantly so with a floral bouquet and hints of rising bread dough. These initial aromas are followed by a suggestion of Indian or perhaps East Asian spices and the faintest hint of marzipan (almond).

Palate: An absolute delight but a hammer with a big punch as all the aromas from the nose are transferred to the palate, one after another including that marzipan which is much stronger here.

Finish: Long, tingly and very memorable.

Overall Impression: Big, bold and bloody good with lots to offer.



  Glencraig whisky distilled at Glenburgie distillery between 1956-81 specifically in Lomond stills  

 General whisky characteristics: Rich (treacle) toffee, liquorice. Full bodied. Aromatic.


SMWS, Glencraig, 34y, 47.8% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark gold, oak

Nose: Aromatic aged wood, treacle toffee, dandelion and burdock (now there's a flashback to my childhood when a fizzy drink or 'pop' called dandelion and burdock was readily available in most shops).

Palate: Smooth, creamy mouth-feel, aromatic and quite floral liquorice.

With 3 drops of water: The aromatic liquorice on the palate is now more like good, home-made treacle toffee.

Finish: Very long treacle toffee, even longer with the drops of water.

Overall Impression: A ver good rich after dinner or late evening dram which would go well with an espresso and dark chocolate.



Duncan Taylor, Glencraig, distilled 1974, bottled 2009, 35y, 42.4% ABV

'Rarest of the Rare' series, cask 2922

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light gold, rich yellow

Nose: Why do I immediately think of outdoors? There's an aromatic sense of wood, rather like an old crofter's cabin in the Scottish hills, there's even heather in bloom and a bracken-covered hillside.

Palate: Light toffee, malt, a hint of leather, but all quite light and aromatic.

With 3 drops of water: Much softer and mellow.

Finish: Pleasantly long, very long, but considerably shorter with water.

Overall Impression: A very enjoyable dram, but forget the water. I really like this one!










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