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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

January 27, 2014


A little verticale of oldish Glenturret

Glenturret's always an adventurous, and sometimes challenging malt whisky, but I seem to have noticed that recent bottlings have been kind of straighter and a little more mainstream, pleasantly so. Let's have few newish ones today...

Glenturret 26 yo 1986/2013 (46.8%, Hunter Laing licensed bottling, 2400 bottles)

Glenturret 26 yo 1986/2013 (46.8%, Hunter Laing licensed bottling, 2400 bottles) Four stars This is a new Hunter Laing bottling that's officially endorsed by Gordon Motion, the distillery's Master Distiller. Colour: gold. Nose: it's a very grassy and rather mineral one, it seems, which doesn't come as a surprise. Some kind of blend of fern juice - can you press ferns? - with grapefruit juice and quite some tonic water. Campari, hay, paraffin, touches of yoghurt, ale, branches, hints of mustard... In short, it's very 'Glenturret'. Mouth: this time it's the oranges and the grapefruits that are talking first, and plenty of them. There is a grassiness again but it never gets the lead, while touches of mustard and salt are playing with your tongue. Simpler on the palate, but better focused and easier. Rather fat body, with an oiliness. Finish: long, always quite oily and very pleasantly bitter this time. So bitters, Fernet-Branca, lemon zests... Some character for sure. Even bitterer aftertaste. Comments: indeed, characterful malt whisky, maybe for the more 'advanced' malt aficionados amongst us. It's got many stories to tell but it's a bit restive. SGP:471 - 86 points.

Glenturret 30 yo 1982/2013 (46%, The Maltman, bourbon, cask #258, 242 bottles)

Glenturret 30 yo 1982/2013 (46%, The Maltman, bourbon, cask #258, 242 bottles) Four starsColour: gold. Nose: wackier than the 1986, that is to say starting more with butter and cream, a little wine vinegar, sour lemon juice, Swiss cheese and beetroots. It's a very singular malt whisky that really develops on vegetables and roots, although there's also a little orange blossom water, oriental pastries, bergamots... That side tends to grow, all for the better. Mouth: sharp and almost pungent, fruitier and much more citrusy than the 1986. It's actually like the zests of 10,000 oranges, lemons and grapefruits that you would have squeezed. That's right, it's almost like quaffing essential oils. Huge palate. Finish: long and now grassier. A cocktail made out of Jaegermeister and Cointreau, 50/50. Have to try that one day. Some pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: another one that's truly spectacular and pretty extreme. Feels like more than 46% vol. SGP:561 - 85 points.

Glenturret 32 yo 1980/2012 (42.4%, Liquid Sun, refill hogshead, 227 bottles)

Glenturret 32 yo 1980/2012 (42.4%, Liquid Sun, refill hogshead, 227 bottles) Four stars A very low natural strength, the angels were more into ethanol than into water, it seems. True angels! Colour: gold. Nose: a real two-step nose. First it's a little cardboardy and even quite flattish, and then some rather beautiful notes of bergamots, earl grey tea, fresh baklavas and passion fruits start to arise. And after five minutes, it's pure passion fruit juice, really. Spectacular. Mouth: oh, this is lovely. Simple but lovely. Again, passion fruits juice with a few slices of banana thrown on, as well as bits of mangos and papayas. There's also these faint touches of cardboard again, but nothing embarrassing, no handicap. Finish: not that long this time, but always with a lot of tart fruits and this wee tea-ish-ness. White pepper in the aftertaste, as often. Comments: another one that I really enjoyed a lot. This, at a slightly higher (natural) strength and with a little less cardboard, my my my! SGP:641 - 85 points.

Glenturret 35 yo 1977/2013 (47.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd, LMDW, cask #25)

Glenturret 35 yo 1977/2013 (47.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd, LMDW, cask #25) Four stars and a half Bearing the 'retro' label. One colour only, that's economical! Colour: gold. Nose: superb. Fudge and butterscotch, orange cake, 'good' soap (saponin, perhaps), lamp oil, ripe mirabelles and dandelions plus lime-tea and fresh mint tea (in the Sahara, ha). A rounder but no-less entertaining Glenturrety nose. In other words, a civilised one. Mouth: I have the impression that everyone bottled the crappy casks ten or twenty years ago, and kept the good seed for the 2010s. Seriously, Glenturret's never been this good, at least it wasn't ten years ago, I'm dead sure. Liquorice, citronella, baked cider apples, curry sauce, mangos, tobacco, citrons, whitecurrants... It's all big and yet it's so fresh! I'm impressed. Finish: it's really the freshness that's impressive, and the fact that it kept much distillery character while losing the, say the unlikely edges. Comments: I had already tried a few excellent 1977s (First Ed., TWA and such) but this one sure takes the biscuit. SGP:551 - 89 points (almost 90).

And also (these had been tasted earlier)

Glenturret 35 yo 1977/2012 (46.2%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams)

Glenturret 35 yo 1977/2012 (46.2%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams) Four stars The Nectar already had a very good 1977 that was joint-bottled (!) with The Whisky Agency a few months before this one. Colour: gold. Nose: starts on big notes of encaustic, grandma’s old wardrobe, forgotten patchouli, old newspapers and then a little Swiss cheese (we aren’t talking gym socks here). It’s not quite a fondue, though. After that, more ‘classic’ vanilla, tinned pineapples and coconut oil. Quite a lot happening in this one, there’s even this unusual Glenturretness nested in the background, around metal polish, parsley and cough syrup. Fun! Mouth: a funny one indeed. It’s a little whacky at first sips, with some paper and flour making it a little drying, but then it’s becoming more ‘pina colada’, with some coconut from the American oak and quite some pineapple juice. Even some avocado, which doesn’t happen often in malt whisky. Finish: medium length, maybe a notch drying/papery. Ginger tonic. Still very pleasant. Coconut and maybe mint and tapioca in the aftertaste. Comments: a fun dram, worth tasting. There’s no other whisky like a good old Glenturret. SGP:461 - 85 points.

Glenturret 35 yo 1977/2012 (46.4%, Jack Wiebers, Old Train Line, bourbon, 239 bottles)

Glenturret 35 yo 1977/2012 (46.4%, Jack Wiebers, Old Train Line, bourbon, 239 bottles) Four stars and a half So, will this be almost the same whisky as the Nectar’s or not? Colour: gold. Nose: no, not the same whisky. This is cleaner and immediately fruitier, and even if there is a little metal polish and maybe ink, there are also wonderful notes of fudge, cookies (or millionaire shortbread), white chocolate and fresh mint. Rubbed mint leaves. I like this nose a lot, it’s very entertaining and greatly un-modern (meaning it’s not whisky that smells just like any other whisky – there!) Mouth: it’s probably the wood that was rather different and probably a little more active. This is fuller, fruitier, cleaner, straighter and immediately sexier. A blend of fruit salad with chocolate, fudge and praline. No paper, ink, metal and such this time. Finish: the oak became louder, which is normal at 25. Long, a little drying, chalky… Remains very good and clean. Comments: good good good and good but goes down too quickly. SGP:551 - 88 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glenturret I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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