Saturday, 20 October 2012

Whisky Discovery #216

Glen Garioch 1797 Founders Reserve NAS (48% abv, OB, 2012, 100cl)
Highland Single Malt Whisky
Circa £30.00 70cl

This was another of my airport purchases with 2 litre bottles of whisky for £55.00 was on offer. I've not tried anything from Glen Garioch before (pronounced Glen 'Geery'!) and this NAS bottle was calling out my name as I was quickly determining which two litres were going home with me.

The Glen Garioch Distillery was established in 1797 and is Scotland’s most Easterly distillery. Situated in the historic town of Oldmeldrum, in the Valley of the Garioch, which was, I understand, traditionally the finest barley growing area in all of Scotland.

Curiously, the distillery is named ‘Glengarioch’, but its single malt whisky has long been known as ‘Glen Garioch’. At the same time, ‘Oldmeldrum’ was formerly ‘Old Meldrum’… Why this should be is a mystery? The town's name derives from the Gaelic, Meal-drum, ‘a ridge’, which well describes its situation, overlooking the rolling country of the Garioch. This was the heartland of the Northern Picts, and the district has the greatest concentration of carved stones and Pictish monuments in Scotland.

So What Did I Think?

Well before you ask, this whisky was not distilled nor bottled in 1797, despite seeing erroneous claims on eBay once. (As a side note, please be so careful buying whisky from eBay, I've seen some supposedly 'rare' whiskies listed that I've just seen on the shelves of my local supermarket for less!) The 1797 refers purely to the founding of the distillery in 1797.

I love the bottle shape and the detailing on the wooden top cork stopper, both with the '1797' recessed in the top and marked on the side of the cork too. I think this bottle will be destined to become, either another water carafe for the table, of for starting the 'Whisky Discovery Blend'

The Founders Reserve is bottled at a very respectable 48% abv and is non chill-filtered, however the German 'Mit Farbstoff' is printed in very small letters at the bottom of the box, which means colouring has been used.

I found that this needed a long time in the glass before it started to reveal it's true character. On initial pouring it has an almost 'oriental' spicy nose to it. Eventually the sweet vanilla and butterscotch show the influence of the North American Oak. There is some crisp green apple and a light pepper spiciness. I was also reminded of the large grapefruit or Pomelo I used to enjoy eating on the beaches in Thailand.

At first the palate is sweet with hints of butter-cream, vanilla and heather honey As this begins to ebb, the fruitiness of the crisp green apple skin and citrus comes through before the spicy pepper kick attacks and fades very quickly, although the finish as a whole is long with a grapefruit bitterness at the very end.

Kat said: I listened to Dad and left it in the glass for while before writing down my thoughts. There was a noticeable difference to the nose from the initial pouring. I jotted down that I was getting creamy butter, green oak and demerara sugar on the nose. It is creamy, sweet and mellow on the palate, with some citrus zest. I have to totally agree with Dad's finish notes too!


Anonymous said...

I really liked this one when I tried it up in London - It's on my list of bottles to buy, and I've bought it as a present a couple of times - agree with your comments on its changing nature in glass - it really opened up after a while!

So what's going into the Whisky Discovery Blend?

Dave Worthington said...

Thanks for your comments! Yes, once it opens up it is quite charming. I know I must start making my own blend but just haven't been brave enough to try it yet! I've got to finish this bottle first though, so perhaps by the time it is nearing empty I will pluck up the courage.