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

March 8, 2017


A few Glen Garioch

It’s been a while since we last did a proper Glen Garioch session! In other words, let’s try to catch up the delay, starting with a regular young OB…

Glen Garioch 12 yo (48%, OB, +/-2016)

Glen Garioch 12 yo (48%, OB, +/-2016) Four stars The 12 is back on WF, after almost seven years! And it’s got more power too, at 48% vol., an unusual bottling strength for a ‘core of standard range’ bottling. What’s more, from the official website, we’ll learn that this is ‘the perfect accompaniment to Parmigiano-Reggiano’. Would you mind if we discarded the cheese? Colour: gold. Nose: muesli, flowers and porridge abound in this nose, as well as hints of IPA beer and acacia honey, zucchini flower, sweet malt… I find it gently yeasty, in a very nice way, but we’re far from the heavier peaty ones from times gone by. Mouth: sweet and creamy arrival, but the whole’s soon to become lemony, pretty mineral, and pleasantly sour. Always these notes of IPA. Some lemon, some grass, some green tea, some not-too-ripe pears… It’s pretty firm and tense, actually, which is very nice. I think it’s got the body of the older ones, just not the smoke. Finish: rather long, rather ‘green’. Peeling, white pepper and grasses, as well as some custard. Comments: a style that’s a little austere, but at times you’d think it’s going a bit towards Springbank or Benromach. On the right track! SGP:462 - 86 points.

Glen Garioch 1998/2016 (57.5%, Càrn Mor, Celebration of the Cask, sherry hogshead, cask #3728, 220 bottles)

Glen Garioch 1998/2016 (57.5%, Càrn Mor, Celebration of the Cask, sherry hogshead, cask #3728, 220 bottles) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: more coffee and malt in this one, and I guess that’s the sherry’s work. Walnut wine, chocolate, chicory, pecan pie, roasted peanuts… All things that are liked at WF Towers. The whole’s surprisingly smooth and rounded, having said that. With water: gets rather floral, with honeysuckle and orange blossom. A bit of earthy tobacco in the background, as well as some pear liqueur. From Alsace, naturally. Mouth (neat): starts rich, and rather peppery and gingery beyond all the marmalade that’s entering your mouth. Bitter oranges everywhere, and a touch of icing sugar. With water: more oranges than in natural Dalmore! Was it in a Cointreau cask before being re-racked into sherry? (hey, I’m joking). Finish: medium, on the same notes. Quite fresh given this baby’s pedigree. Comments: very different, but rather in the same league as that of the official 12. Me likes. SGP:551 - 86 points.

Glen Garioch 21 yo 1995/2016 (51.5%, Douglas Laing, Old Particular, cask #11471, 290 bottles)

Glen Garioch 21 yo 1995/2016 (51.5%, Douglas Laing, Old Particular, cask #11471, 290 bottles) Four stars This one came out in November last year. Let’s expect something very ‘naked’ according to the colour. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: a steel cask? Glass? Stone? Plexiglas? It’s not often that you’re getting this much youth (pears and stuff) from a twenty-one years old malt whisky. But the fact is that it’s pretty brilliant distillate, chalky, bready, mashy… And there are super-cool whiffs of rubbed mint leaves as well as some kind of light smoke. The neighbour burning dead leaves and cut grass. With water: same, with a little more barley water. Mouth (neat): very vibrant, very fresh, and perfectly fruity. All fruits from a western orchard, really, plus a drop of all-flower honey and another one of grass and lemon juice. Plus this chalk. With water: another very fine barley eau-de-vie, perfectly matured, and not oaked. Finish: medium, very fresh, maltier now. Oatcakes. Comments: I’m sorry but I think I’ll go for the same score. No copying-and-pasting that went wrong. SGP:551 - 86 points.

Glen Garioch 22 yo 1992/2014 (49.3%, Sansibar, 136 bottles)

Glen Garioch 22 yo 1992/2014 (49.3%, Sansibar, 136 bottles) Four stars and a half Classic vintage, many indies were having these, and many were excellent. Colour: straw. Nose: more smoke in these vintages, coal, scoria, soot… And Seville oranges, camphor, leather polish… So a fatter, more phenolic spirit, much closer to Springbank, in a way. Not the baddest of news! Mouth: really, Springbank from the same vintages, with some old rusty metal parts, some clay, some peppery peat, some cigar ashes, and a very peculiar rubbery/tarry side that. Almost forgot to mention some very acidic grapefruits. Finish: long, sharp, leafy, ashy, smoky, sooty, earthy… Comments: in way, Glen Garioch used to be like Brora, you had very peaty batches and you had gentler one. This one sure stems from the former category. SGP:453 - 89 points.

Glengarioch 23 yo 1991/2015 (54.1%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, bourbon hogshead, 444 bottles)

Glengarioch 23 yo 1991/2015 (54.1%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, bourbon hogshead, 444 bottles) Four stars That is right, Cadenhead are using the ‘Glengarioch’ moniker, no typo here. Colour: straw. Nose: a gentler batch again, much less smoky – although I do find a little coal smoke – and much grassier and mineral. Zests, seaweed, salted butter… all we need now is a large plate of oysters. With water: plain malted barley and a little wax polish. Mouth (neat): a funny feeling of lemon drops and limoncello at first, then a lot of lemongrass and a little icing sugar. Haribo’s most lemony, err, stuff. With water: some plasticine coming out, some spirits do always react like that. Other than that, same lovely lemony profile. Finish: medium, very zesty. Lemon Schweppes. Comments: what did you expect? (oh come on!) Very good, bright and zesty. SGP:551 - 87 points.

Good, we may try more Glen Garioch soon. Perhaps even tomorrow…

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







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