Girvan 1989 ( Celebration of the Cask) Review

“I Love a Grainy Night”

Whisky Review # 882

Country: Scotland
Region: Lowlands
Brand: Girvan 1989 - Distilled on April 17, 1989
Bottled by: Morrison & MacKay (MMcK) on February 20, 2017 - 120 Bottles
Series: Carn Mor (Celebration of the Cask Series)
Type: Single Grain Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 37527
Age: 27 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 47.5% - Cask Strength
Maturation: Bourbon Barrel
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 130-170 (July 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐Okay. You can't expect 27-Year old Whisky to be cheap. 
Buying Advice: 👍if you're a fan of Grain Whisky.


Light Gold  (Natural Colour)


Be sure to give this Girvan sufficient time in the glass before Nosing. The first waft of Varnish will diminish with time. Initially the Nose reminded me strongly of a plate of Honeyed Breakfast Cereals with Dried Fruits. With some patience you will be able to narrow that down a bit and also find Nutty and Dairy notes. The Alcohol is there but it doesn't spoil the Nosing fun. The Nose is still quite Fresh given its 27 years.

Main Aromas:

Sugared Cereals, Vanilla, Syrup, Honey, Grass, Fresh & Dried Fruit such as Apples, Pears, Bananas and Raisins, Coconut Milk, Candied Almonds, Charred Oak, Cloves and Polished Wood.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Toffee, Cake topped with Cream, Nutella, Peach-Flavored Yogurt, Nectarine, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dried and Fresh Herbs, Ginger and Varnish.


A mix of Bitter-Sweet and Sour notes. Good contact between Cask # 37527 and the Spirit. Grain Whisky is not my favourite type of Whisky but this Girvan tastes okay. Medium-Creamy. The Alcohol remains noticeable though.

Main Flavours:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Toffee, Vanilla, Apple, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Nutella, Marzipan, Nougat, Charred Oak, Varnish, Pepper and Dried Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Sultanas, Raisins, Banana, Bounty Bars, Licorice, Aniseed, Nutmeg, Ginger, Menthol and Cloves.


Middle-Long, Medium-Dry & Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour notes pop up as well. Medium Creamy. The Alcohol remains noticeable throughout the tasting session. The Oak comes to the front now along with its Spices. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Vanilla, Toffee, Apple, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Seville-Orange, Floral Notes, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Dried Apricot, Coconut, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Curry, Mint, Varnish, Dried Herbs, Bounty Bars, Charred Oak and Caffe Latte.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little water and the Alcohol naturally steps down. I get extra Cream and Peach Jam on the Nose. It helps to calm down the Palate and Finish as well but you will lose some Flavors there. I would suggest to add just 4 drops to a small dram.

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


Girvan Distillery was founded in Girvan (South Ayrshire) in 1963. It is owned by William Grant & Sons. Most of the production is used in the William Grant Blends like Grant's and Clan MacGregor. The Grain Whisky is produced with 91.5% Wheat and 8.5% Malted Barley. The distillery has six Column stills with a total annual capacity of 115 million litres. The distillery also produces Hendrick's Gin.

It's generally accepted that 65 to 70% of the Flavors of any Whisky are formed by the contact of the Spirit with the Cask during maturation. I would guess that this percentage is even higher for Grain Whisky. That's why many Single Grain Whiskies go the market with over 20 Years of Cask time. The Girvan I'm tasting today did certainly mature in a good cask. There are sufficient Creamy Flavors around to justify its existence as a sipping Whisky. Adding Water is as always a personal thing. You can add a few drops but I prefer it neat. If you're into Grain Whisky you will certainly like this Girvan. I must admit that Grain Whisky so far does not really ring all my bells but this Girvan is certainly one of the better ones I've tasted so far.


Jan van den Ende                                                                              July 6, 2020

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