The GlenWyvis 2018-21 Member’s Release Batch 1 at 50% abv, is a hard dram to come by! In 2016, by the Ben Wyvis mountain in Dingwall (all of which, I admit, sounds like somewhere out of The Rings of Power), the first community-owned distillery opened its doors. Stephen, via threats, blackmail, and <deleted*>, managed to obtain a bottle of the first release of GlenWyvis, which was made available only to the 3,000 shareholders. Since it’s Stephen who’s looking at gaol time, I pronounce it a worthy sacrifice!
* The Malt Impostor barristers on retainer forbid us from talking about what else he did to get a GlenWyvis First Batch.
The GlenWyvis First Batch, Members Only, 2018-21, 50% abv, nose opens with subtle floral notes that blossom into a white-pepper spiced pear-and-peach salad served in flagrante delicto.
[John: Does Bill know what that means?]
[Stephen: I don’t think so.]
There’s the spiraling sweetness of Moscatel on the nose, which isn’t surprising, given that it 15% of this release was aged in first-fill Moscatel casks. We got also ripe honeydew melon and unripe honeydew rinds, the latter nosing better than the descriptor would suggest. We also found Braeburn apples left out in the sun long enough that wasps buzzed by wondering if there were any country clubs nearby.
The mouth is as lively as babbling child by a burbling brook, whose blubbering brother is wailing while bobbing for apples—it’s that lively. (Note: The proximity of “blubber” to “wail” is intentional! If I were James Joyce, this review would be acclaimed as a work of nuanced genius.) There’s faint wine and a hint of cough syrup run through an otherwise-unused coffee filter. One gets the sense of relief that while perhaps a grand piano is falling towards you as you stand on a sidewalk that at least it’s not a few crates filled with anvils inexorably heading your way. Which is to say: You feel gravity, gratitude, and the sense of a well-tempered clavier cleaving your clavicle, but sparing your ossicles, including the anvil, missing them by incus I mean, inches. (More Joycean wordplay!) Which is to say: It’s surprisingly tasty for a 3 year-old whisky!
The finish comes on like Weekend at Bernie’s: a non-zombie dead man fools the living. In this case, white pepper changes to black, Members Only jackets are non-ironically popular again, a future rife with possibilities beckons with your imagined come-hither smoldering gaze and wave of your dream love ideal. There’s a bit of moldy lime mixed in with coconut, making the spine of an oddly entrancing daiquiri.
On the scale of preternaturally appropriate blues songs–
The GlenWyvis 2018-2021 Member’s Release First Batch is the Bobby Blue Bland (and the Bobby Blue Bland Blue’s Band) song Members Only–Welcome to the club, GlenWyvis! We’re pleased to
taint anoint you with the Official Malt Impostor Seal of Approval™ and we’re excited to sample more of your releases!
–Our great thanks to Liam for the bottle!