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Glenburgie (pronounced: glen-BER-gee) is arguably a closed distillery, it was demolished and completely rebuilt by Allied Distillers in 2003 who passed it on to Pernod Ricard in 2004/5 who subsequently expanded it even further. Only the stills were retained from the original building, thus, arguably, making it a new distillery. Whatever this means for the character of Glenburgie what is certain is that it will continue to be a fairly obscure blending beast in years to come as it always has been. Not widely known about outside fanatical whisky loving circles, it is a great shame because Glenburgie has produced some stunning malts over the years.
Stills: 3 Wash 3 Spirit
Water Source: Local Springs
Capacity: 4.2 Million Litres
Owners: Pernod Ricard
1958-1981: Old Style Malt And Lomond Stills
The floor maltings at Glenburgie were closed in 1958 and the stills were converted to steam and condensers a few years later. Thankfully there are many examples of Glenburgie from the sixties to showcase its often beautifully resinous character. There have been some stunning examples by Gordon & MacPhail, particularly from 1966 such as the cask for La Maison Du Whisky. A 1954 30yo for Sestante by G&M provided a beautifully resinous and delicate look at old style Glenburgie. Signatory also bottled a stunning 39yo from 1963 that shows Glenburgie can bloom even without the help of sherry, which it is most commonly filled into. There are some official examples from the mid sixties and early seventies that are very good as well. An OB 5yo from this era was particularly good with lots of fresh butter, herbs and lively citrus character.
In an interesting historical side note there was a pair of Lomond Stills installed at Glenburgie to work alongside the existing standard pair. Lomond Stills have a searate condenser in the head of the still which is adjustable and allows greater control over the levels of reflux during distillation. This supposedly means that a distiller can make different styles of distillate through a single pair of stills. These stills were used to produce a separate malt christened Glencraig between 1958 and 1981 when the Lomond Stills were removed to make way for a second pair of standard stills. For more info on Glencraig there is a separate profile page for it that you can read.
1981-2003: Modern Glenburgie.
Glenburgie from this time is typically rich and nutty in the modern Speyside style with plenty stewed fruits from sherried examples and creamy maltiness and gingery spice out of bourbon. Fine examples are available from Signatory, Cadenheads and some semi official bottlings from G&M as well.
2005-Present: A New Distillery
Bottlings have yet to emerge from this newly constructed Glenburgie. Pernod Ricard upped the number of stills to six shortly after acquiring the distillery thus giving it one of the largest production capacities in Scotland. It remains to be seen how the make will compare to the old distillery but it will probably be different. Thankfully there still seems to be a good supply of Glenburgie and a dependable string of independent examples do still emerge.