The star of last Wednesday nights Tweet Tasting was The Girvan Patent Still and they had some fantastic Single Grain Malt Whiskies for us to sample.
The malts sampled were:-
- Girvan New Make
- Girvan No.4 Apps
- Girvan 25 Years Old
- Girvan 30 Years Old
Built in 1963, under the direction of Charles Gordon, the great-grandson of William Grant, Girvan was the most advanced distillery in the world at the time.
In the 70’s chemist G. Wilkin isolated the perfect yeast strain from local flora for use in the whisky production. They still use the same strain now: Lallemang.
They were also the first to use multi-pressure distillation for production of grain Scotch whisky in 1992.
Distilling at various pressures and under vacuum in particular allowed them to vapourise and distill at lower temperatures. Resulting in a sweeter, fruitier, cleaner and purer spirit.
To reflect this, the tall slender packing of The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain was designed to reflect the tall shape of their column stills.
On average 36 trucks arrive at Girvan every day. Each truck contains about 25 – 28 tonnes of wheat. The Girvan distillery produces about 115 million LPA (litres of pure alcohol) per year. This is equivalent to 46 Olympic Pools!
About 33% of Girvans flavour comes from the distillate, 67% influence of the oak. The oak they use is 100% American oak, rich in vanillin. The oak reacts very well to lighter grain spirit, adding fantastic flavours.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes … and the one which was my favourite on the night!
Tasting Notes – Girvan New Make (42%)
Nose: A strong moonshine is my first impression. Wafts of nail varnish hit the nose straight away. There’s popcorn, white rum with added fruit & hints of banana smoothie.
Palate: Quite an oily mouthfeel, the banana continues on the palate. Creamy and sweet with a tasty rumness.
Finish: Full on strong finish – hints of raw spice.
Overall: Surprisingly tasty for a new make but with a raw edge that is strangely attractive!
Tasting Notes – Girvan No.4 Apps (42%)
No. 4 Apps (short for apparatus) is named after their 4th. still.
Nose: Vanilla & cream, slight toffee popcorn & oak wood in there. Lovin’ the apples fragrances – it’s harvest time!
Palate: Sweet tropical fruits, pineapple et al & sherbet! Creamy vanilla & spice.
Finish: Smooth spicy, peppery finish. Dry with a little grapefruit.
Overall: A superb, warming dram for sure! Lovely balance of flavours & perfect for Autumn evenings.
Tasting Notes – Girvan 25 Years Old (42%)
Nose: Oak wood & vanilla straight off with creamy, spiced green apples, butterscotch & coconut.
Palate: Smooth vanilla & orange with creamed apples.
Finish: Spicy and Oh! so smooth with a lingering creaminess – divine!
Overall: Truly heaven in a glass! Rich, long and satisfying.
Tasting Notes – Girvan 30 Years Old (42%)
This 30YO is unique as it was the last year (1984) to use maize. From 1963 to 1984 Girvan used maize. From 1984 onwards they have used wheat. Bottled without the addition of caramel and non-chill filtered.
Nose: This needs some time to develop … after all it is 30 years old. There’s vanilla, banana, hints of dark chocolate, apple and oak wood.
Palate: Xmas cake mixture, plump raisins, tropical fruits (mango & pineapple) – a feast! Topped with rich vanilla, a hint of mint & orange and a gentle spice.
Finish: Rich tannin with a spicy finish that’s long and glorious!
Overall: Smooth beyond belief and an amazing set of flavours. If you get the chance to sample, grab it with all your tastebuds!
My Favourite On The Night
Out of the 5, I think it’s got to be the Girvan 30 Years Old. Money can’t buy me love but it can buy me this!
My fellow Tweeters were:-
@DrinksEnthusist @julie_gwc @angelshareglass @robster38 @Nickolls_Perks @EdinburghWhisky @KristianeSherry @WhiskyApocalyps @brawspirit @TheWhiskyKiwi @pimpleandblotch @bobsta1975 @thicker_thanH2O @ivyeatsagain @WhiskyCorner @kaskwhisky @cache1337 @dvdbloke @jesslionsmane @nitin_michael @jdpjamesp @GeorgeHHutton @WhiskyQuarterly
Girvan is available to buy from these Whisky Merchants:-