Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon
Additional coloring: Yes
Average price: € 39.00
Official website: www.glengarioch.com
When the brothers John and Alexander Manson decided to set up their own distillery in 1797, they chose a very secluded and quiet area in Aberdeenshire, an area known for the particular quality of its barley crops, setting up roots in the town of Oldmeldrum.
Garioch (pronounced Geery in the local dialect) is the strip of fertile land, excellent for distilling whisky, in those parts where first John (at the time 27 years old) and four years later his brother Alexander (19 years old) set up the distillery, making good use of the family’s agricultural knowledge and starting up a flourishing business.
The management of the business was passed from father to son until 1884, when the distillery was acquired by J.G. Thompson & Co., merchants from Leith, who soon fell into the hands of William Sanderson, who at the time was very active in the production of blends, using Glen Garioch whisky to create the famous Vat 69.
Other changes of hands, the Depression, the Second World War and water supply problems led to the closure of the distillery at the end of the 1960s, being a few years later acquired by Stanley P. Morrison, former owner of Bowmore.
The discovery of a nearby underground spring led to the relaunch of the label in 1973, with the rebirth of production which, apart from a brief closure in 1995/97, has never stopped since.
There aren’t many bottlings in Glen Garioch’s portfolio, with the 12 year old and this Founder’s Reserve in honour of founder John Manson, plus several vintage and recently a 15 year old and a virgin cask version.
Fresh and floral notes on the nose, grafted onto a classic profile of honey, vanilla, green apples, pear and lemon peel. Malt and caramel in the background. The sweet component is delicate, also thanks to the alcohol content which contains the exuberance, resulting in a balanced and not trivial nose.
The mouthfeel is lively and spicy, the ginger titillates the tongue while the fruity impressions (with touches of orange and unripe banana) combine with hazelnut (lots of it), vanilla and caramel, in an oily and compact consistency that always remains on the tracks of a calm sweetness. Malt and caress of wood in the background, with a hint of milk chocolate.
Medium-long and dry finish of hazelnut, malt, hint of liquorice, wood, gust of smoke.
An inexpensive whisky but not a cheap one. On the contrary, it displays a complexity that is atypical in this price range, thanks also to the respectable alcohol content that allows the aromas to emerge without overpowering.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Dràm Mòr Glen Garioch 8yo
The Scotch Noob