...and the winner is: The oldie because of its more old-stylish profile which is more appealing to my taste buds. No doubt, both are great drams and it is up to everyone's preferences which one is better. But for sure both drams prove that Glen Elgin delivered excellent quality throughout the decades of bust (eighties) and normality (nineties). We will see in the future if it can keep that high quality throughout the modern boom times too...
The colour of the CA is at jonquiripe corn while the SV is a tad darker at yellow gold. The SV offers a rich and delicious fruity nose right after pouring the dram with dozens of different fruits, honeys and barley sugars in an appropriate spicy wooden framework. Later waxes and chalky notes join in together with autumn floral aromas. All very balanced and without any off-note. The CA is more shy and closed on that dimension and needs at least ten minutes of breathing, better more. After that it enfolds beautifully on basically the same profile but it is less sweet and adds additional herbal aromas that perfectly fit into this mix. It is nicely balanced too and without any off-note either, but I like the SV better not least because its profile is more old-stylish...
The taste of the SV is nicely layered on all kinds of sweet flavours like fruits, sugars, toffee and marzipan notes. To balance these some bitter-spicy layers intercept that onrush of sweetness with nutty (almonds, wal nuts), herbal and peppery impressions. An adorable combination! No flaw or imbalance that I can detect. The CA tastes again less sweet (that in fact still is very sweet) with more waxy-oily flavours and delicious bitter notes of herbs and green tea. It is not as layered as the SV but compensates this through a more powerful ("oomphie") impression. Later some delicate coffee-mocha notes pop up that I really like. Chewing is mandatory for both drams! By the way, no flaw in the CA either.
The SV arrives warming on the palate and instantly coats the whole of the mouth without any distracting moment, an excellent mouthfeel! The finish is long and adds a tasty milk chocolatey note. There is a minor drying moment towards the end (cardboards) that is not distracting. The initial mouthfeel of the CA is a little hot due to the high abv but it warms and coats all of the mouth quite nicely too. The finish is even longer than that of the SV with more bitter notes (tea, tobacco) that drive the CA a little out of balance. Water releases more chalky and bitter aromas in the SV and opens up the CA nicely in the nose and smoothes its taste and finish (reducing the bitter notes which is perfect). I like the SV best when neat and the CA better when reduced to about the same strength of the neat SV (45% abv).