Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry refill and first fill
Added colouring: No
Owner: Lalique Group
Average price: € 180.00
Official website: theglenturret.com
The purchase of Scotland’s ‘oldest distillery’ by a joint venture with French Lalique led to a radical rethinking of the entire brand, including the renovation of the visitor centre, the hiring of Bob Dalgarno (historically involved with Macallan) as Master Blender and a complete overhaul of the packaging, abandoning the very classic style of the past for one that reflected the elegance and luxury that the new ownership wanted to imprint on the distillery.
2020 therefore saw the debut of the distillery’s revamped portfolio, entirely redesigned not only in appearance but also in composition, with the details of individual bottlings varying from year to year as well as, in some cases, their strength.
Here, then, is the second version of the revisited fifteen-year old, made with refill (defined as ‘mature’) and first-fill ex-Sherry casks, unlike the 2020 edition which was made with only refill casks.
A nose that screams “sherry!” with extreme conviction, combining sour and vinous notes with a compote of red fruits (currants, raspberries, sour cherries), blood orange and sultanas, accompanied by a background of sweet liquorice, chocolate, almond candies and a light but definite spicyness of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a subtle balsamic vein emerging along the length, faint and elusive but adding depth to a rather loaded profile.
And that hint of freshness is picked up on the palate, which keeps control of the (very apt) alcohol content and the sherried influence, here more subdued than on the nose though still well-marked, with black pepper and ginger scattered over a bar of red fruit chocolate, candied orange peel, sugar icing and an unexpected salty streak along the length. The spices also return as an accompaniment without overdoing it, with a hint of wood in the background.
The finish is quite long, with the salty vein marking out red fruits, chocolate, liquorice and balsamic flashes.
The ex-Sherry casks reused, I understand several times, created a sherried with muted and rather elegant tones, which was probably the intention of the master blender, although even with some interesting hints it lacks that extra touch to trigger, at least for me, the spark. But it’s still a good result, perhaps a little overpriced, but given the particularly sophisticated packaging it can be expected.