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Issue 91 - Ask the expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 91
October 2010


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Ask the expert

I have a very old (40 years plus) bottle of Hector MacDonald Glen Mist Whisky Liqueur priced at 40/- shillings, bottled by Savermo of London. The wax seal around the cork is broken but the cork is intact and never been opened. Can you advise me if it would be drinkable and would it have any value to a collector?
S Posner, London, England

Glen Mist was the best-known product produced by House of Hallgarten Wines Limited, Carkers Lane, Highgate Road, London. They were wine importers who had a number of subsidiaries engaged in exporting Scotch whisky products. Glen Mist was a Scotch-whisky-based liqueur, main ingredients (whisky, honey and sugar) exported by (Savermo) Liqueur Whisky from the 1940s. It should be drinkable, as it has not been opened. A bottle with a good label and in reasonable condition would realise £140 - £180 at auction.

On rare occasion, I have sampled whisky that has a pronounced chemical offnote, like a peroxide or perhaps a plasticiser. It hasn't happened often, but when it does, the chemical taste is memorable (not in a good way). The intensity of this offnote can range from merely distracting to completely undrinkable. I've noticed this off-note in single malts including a value priced 8 Years Old, a very expensive 30 Years Old, a freshly opened bottle, a nearly empty bottle, in US bars, in European pubs, there doesn't seem to be any underlying commonality.
Furthermore, when I compare my experience to published tasting reviews, no mention is made of...

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