There’s no way around it - Girvan Patent Still Proof Strength is a very poor whisky. Both mono-dimensional, and aggressively raw, there’s little to enjoy here. Most damning however is the level of simplicity on offer for an RRP of £75 – there’s so little going on here besides the most basic of ex-bourbon cask flavours that tedium will likely settle in before you’ve even finished a single dram of this. I was going to suggest that this might be a whisky suited for highballing – but even then there are loads of better options out there – all of which are probably cheaper. Avoid.
Exceedingly boozy and quite raw in places. Vanilla extract, vanilla pod and vanilla custard are joined by young sappy fresh oak, PVA glue and perhaps, at best a hint of pear drops. The addition of water certainly benefits the ‘noseability’ of this – reducing the heat and prickle. But, it barely makes a difference to the overall profile, which remains almost entirely vanilla and wood focussed. There’s a touch more creaminess, but it is joined by more industrial-like adhesive – so don’t get too excited by the level of improvement that’s possible here.
An entirely hostile arrival of pure alcoholic burn – and yet more vanilla and oak. There’s very little development here – your two main flavours are going to be with you through the whole experience (arduous task?!). They are joined by some buttery pastries and green apple, but, that’s pretty much your lot. Reduced, this is more immediately amicable, and emphasises some toasted cereals and pear drops, but there’s no real definition elsewhere besides a morass of vanilla and wood.
Mercifully short. Some pepperiness (which at this stage is at least interesting), and unless quite heavily reduced, still with plenty of burn.