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

July 17, 2014


Glen Garioch

Two evident Glen Garioch from earlier vintages

Recent vintages aren’t hard to find at many indies – and at the owners of course – but older ones are becoming very scarce.

Glen Garioch 24 yo 1989/2014 (51.4%, The Whisky Agency, The Perfect Dram, refill hogshead) Five stars Isn’t it great that the Agency could find a pre-1990 cask! Colour: white wine. Nose: well, it seems that there were still echoes of GG’s former mineraly, if not smokiness. In truth, this is very mineral and quite medicinal, and notes of chalk, aspirin tablets, limestone, eucalyptus and antiseptic do abound. After a few minutes, we find more apple and walnut peelings, as well as an unusual ‘grassy’ smokiness. Garden bonfire, broken branches… The whole is quite austere, but it’s got some great character. With water: some dry barley and other grains come out. Smoky porridge, perhaps? Mouth (neat): all the fruits that weren’t in the nose are here, together with a perfect old-style-ness that would involve raw wool, chalk, ink, grass, even vegetables, walnuts… The medicinal side is there too, but it’s rather more discreet. With water: yes, grapefruits and limes. Great bottle. Finish: relatively long and beautifully lifted by citrus and lemony grasses. Not just lemongrass! Comments: I simply say ‘kudos’. Not a style/expression of Glen Garioch that’s easy to find as a new bottling anywhere else these days. Right up my alley! SGP:463 - 91 points.

Glen Garioch 21 yo 1973 (43%, OB, +/-1994) Five stars I’ve tried bunches of 1968s, 1971s and 1975s, but only one from 1973, a glory by Slim Cowell (WF 91). Colour: gold. Nose: same style, just more emphatic, more obvious, and probably even more complex. Iron, chalk, eucalyptus tea, flints, antiseptic and, let’s cut this short, 4,231,215 tinier aromas. The golden age of Glen Garioch, in line with those of the 1965-1971 era. What else can I say? Mouth: awe and genuflexion. Fat and crystalline at the same time, and kind of metaniocal. It’s thousands and yet it’s one. God? Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade, and quick! Finish: how could an old bottle – I mean, the whisky inside - at 43% vol. be so long? Comments: seriously, this is absolutely massive malt whisky. It’s got everything, from peat/phenols to fruits/honeys and from spices to herbs and flowers, and yet it’s the compactness that’s really striking. It’s One. Who stole the recipe? SGP:664 - 94 points.

(with thanks to Carsten)

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







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