Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Glen Garioch Experience Part 2 (Virgin Oak Launch)

Whisky Discovery
The second of our Glen Garioch experiences over the summer was an invitation to the launch of the Virgin Oak, at an intimate gathering at the boutique Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell, London. Although originally planned for the 3rd July 2013, due to reasons beyond our control it was postponed until 16th July, and so we duly set off down to London to meet up at the venue. (July 3rd would have been handy as we were already in the city that day having spent all day at Imbibe Live. You can see our Imbibe Live Facebook album here

Well if you can cast your minds back to mid-July you should remember we had a glorious summer. The evening of 16th was one of those hot, humid sultry evenings. We got down into the city a little earlier than necessary, but living out in the sticks means taking an afternoon off of work to attend London events, and with an afternoon off of work, you might as well be enjoying yourself, so we found where we were supposed to be going and then parked ourselves in a nearby pub for a crisp cold beer before dinner.

We weren't sure who was going to be at the dinner, but we were the first to arrive, perhaps a few minutes early, but then we were only sitting in the pub across the way. Along with host Carolynne Coole, from Consolidated PR, Morrison Bowmore's Phil Nickson was ready in the dining room. We waited for the other guests to arrive, the dining room wasn't huge, I quickly counted up the seats and realised that this really was going to be an intimate dinner, just nine of us in total.
Whisky Discovery
Matt and Karen from Whisky for Everyone
First to arrive was The Miss Whisky herself, Alwynne Gwilt. We've met up with Alwynne at a number of events over the year as we've made ourselves known to the whisky industry, and its always good to catch up with her. Matt and Karen Chambers from one of the very first whisky websites I was reading 'Whisky for Everyone', were next to arrive and were promptly followed by acclaimed whisky writer Ian Buxton and Whisky Squad founder Jason B Standing making up the nine. We were feeling very privileged to be amongst such esteemed company, and while we had met everyone before, the evening provided a fantastic opportunity to simply sit down and talk!
Whisky Discovery
Yes, that's Ian Buxton next to Phil Nickson
A very enjoyable three course dinner with wine followed while we all got to know each other a little better. Kat and I had already made our menu selections, ensuring that we chose something different for each course so we could swap halfway through, ensuring we tried a little of everything. So we shared starters of Smoked Chicken and Salmon tartare, which we followed with main courses of Baked Cod and a Veggie chorizo. We both picked the Apple Tarte for our deserts as none of the other choices grabbed our attention obviously!

With the meal finished it was time to bring out the whisky. We started with their aged core expression the 12 Year Old before the unveiling of the Virgin Oak. (a few more pictures can be found on our Facebook page here:)
Whisky Discovery
12 Year Old left, Virgin Oak right
So What did we Think?
Both Kat and I had been at the earlier tweet tasting where Rachel Barrie had tested the reaction to the Virgin Oak by sending it out as a blind dram, and so we had tasted both of these expressions before, although we didn't know it was the Virgin Oak then.

Glen Garioch 12 Year Old (48% abv)
Highland Single Malt
circa £35.00 70 cl
Whisky Discovery
First released in 2010, the 12 Year Old is one of Glen Garioch's two core expressions, sitting alongside the NAS 1797 Founders Reserve. Both of these expressions are bottled at the unusual strength of 48% abv and non-chillfiltered (although I understand colouring is used to ensure consistency between batches). This whisky has been matured in a combination of both ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks

Dave Said: The nose opens with floral and herbal notes of heather, grassy, vanilla notes starting to evolve, grapefruit too.

On the palate this is not an immediately sweet dram, opens with bitter grapefruit pith and a huge hit of white pepper, but hold on to it, the fire subsides and becomes creamy with lots of ginger, I wasn't expecting that. The finish is long, spicy at first, softening with a woodiness before turning dry

I really liked the Glen Garioch 12 Year Old the first time I tasted it and added a bottle to my shelf.

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak NAS (48% abv)
Highland Single Malt
circa £65.00 70 cl
Whisky Discovery
Glen Garioch is one of the few distillers to produce a fully matured virgin oak single malt. Its intense flavour means it can hold up in the new fill cask, bringing its own unique woody tones to the malt – a dram to savour.

Dave Said: The nose has lots of spicy wood notes with a herbal element too that is slightly reminiscent of Vietnamese Coriander. A drop of water sweetens the nose and lots of vanilla notes develop in the glass.

On the palate this is sweet and smooth and creamy, almost buttery. The heather notes come across and there are some tangy orange marmalade flavours too. The initial sweetness is balanced by a savoury side too and has a warming finish with ginger and spices.

Kat Said: On the nose I was greeted with an instant hit of spices & vanilla notes from the virgin American oak cask. After a short while spices can be pin pointed as nice blend of mace with a touch of sweetness from star anise and cinnamon. Some hints of toasted nuts and toasted white bread follows. At this point the dryness of this dram is noticeable, with dry straw notes wandering back & forth. With sometime in the glass, the golden syrup note makes its way through but doesn't make the whisky feel heavy. With a generous splash of water, it brings out more floral notes, Manuka honey, more vanilla, and creamy white chocolate.

Taste: Again you’re hit with the spices, this time predominately of cloves, some pepperiness & oiliness of light virgin olive oil. These are followed by bitter lemon pith, raw hazel nuts, and a touch of honey. Water tones down the spices, making it more balanced. For me this whisky is a tad too spicy so prefer this one with water.

Finish: Not a surprise that you also find spices lingering in the finish. Some toasted nuts & cereal notes towards the end.

Generally I like my whisky neat but this one is so spicy that it over powers the other aromas & flavours. Luckily with a decent splash of water, the spicy wild beast was tamed. It allowed the sweet, creamy & toasted notes to come through making it a more enjoyable dram for me. As this just uses virgin oak casks, there’s a lack of fruit flavours that you get in say refill sherry casks which makes a nice change.

Slàinte! Kat and Dave

Whisky Discovery Tasting #1

The Embankment Bedford
A full house for our first 'Whisky Discovery' tasting at The Embankment, Bedford
We finally did it, jumped in with both feet, closed our eyes, and hoped for the best. When we finally caught our breaths, the chaos that was left behind was a bunch of strangers brought together by seven beautiful drams, and all having a whale of a night. 

From the reaction of everyone who came to our first tasting, it was a big fat tick in the fun box, and we are delighted that there are enough people interested to start a whisky club in Bedford! Hooray! What this space in 2014 for more news. 

For the evening, we teamed up with the Embankment Pub in Bedford The line-up on the night was seven drams, each paired with a different canapé that were jointly selected by the head chef and me, to complement each dram. 

These are the pairings in order of their appearance on the night:
  1. Smoked Salmon on Sourdough Toast paired with SMWS G10.5 
  2. Sweet Potato and Baby spinach Frittata paired with Paul John’s Brilliance. 
  3. Morn Dew Cheese paired with Glen Garioch 1995 Vintage. 
  4. Smoked Haddock Rarebit paired with The Whisky Lounge’s Salted Sea Dog. 
  5. Pear Crumble paired with Glen Moray Chardonnay cask.
  6. Vanilla Ice Cream paired with Balcones Baby Blue. 
  7. Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart paired with Douglas Laing’s Scally Wag.
It was a big gamble starting the evening with the SMWS G10.5 as it was the highest abv at 61%. Due to food pairing, it was difficult to place it anywhere else in the line-up. It would have been too weird having a smoked salmon in between sweet canapés. It did become a good bench mark dram though, with many really appreciating the freshness and floral qualities of this dram after they had tasted the others. 

So what did we think of each dram?

Whisky Discovery #614

SMWS G10.5 A ‘Schweppervescene’ Moment 23 Year Old (61% abv)
Single Grain Whisky from Strathclyde Distillery 
Circa £68.50 70 cl

SMWS G10.5
This is a single cask, single grain whisky from the Strathclyde grain distillery, located in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. There are no official distillery bottlings of this single cask however it is a popular grain whisky that’s used in many blends. 

Nose:  Punches with freshness, very lively and vibrant. A while later creamier note comes through of young ripe avocado, there’s some acetone notes that tickles the nose, with some sharp lemon/lime sherbets but without the oversweet sugar smell. 
Taste:  It starts with the lemon sherbets, followed by corn flakes and cereal notes, then a hint of bitterness which is nice to give it some depth, and at the end it becomes a minty menthol mouthwash. 
Finish:  The cooling minty menthol mouthwash has stayed, then it becomes warming with the bitterness returning right to the end. A long finish with leaving a dry mouth feel. 

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: First dram is the SMWS schweppervescence. grass & vanilla on the nose. Pepper on the palette, after taste of leather car seat. This one better with water, softens it.
@JohnnieStumbler: Wonderfully fresh on the nose. Grassy with fresh fruits. Great mouthfeel, sweet and grassy with a citric edge. With a touch of water, it really delivers. Paired with smoked salmon on sourdough toast. It really highlights the contrast between sweet and salt. Good shout! Very capable and worth further exploration. Needs time, water and a brave heart.

Whisky Discovery #429

Paul John’s Brilliance NAS (46% abv)
Indian Single Malt Whisky 
Circa £46 70 cl

Paul John Brilliance
The distillery is based in Goa, India, and it is one of only two distilleries in India currently exporting to the UK. It is made with using Indian six-row barley from the Himalayan foothills and has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels. It’s non-chill-filtered with no artificial colouring. 

Nose:  Rich and intense aromas. Aromatic and spicy of teak wood and nutmeg, with the smell of warm leather. 
Taste:  Again rich full bodied flavours. Teak wood comes through with some sweetness, for me it’s similar to the taste of flat Coca-Cola, and there’s also a floral notes present. 
Finish:  Begins with sweet cassia bark followed by some spiciness, leaving a mild wood note at the end. Not a very long finish, would have loved for this to go on for longer. 

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: Bloody lovely Indian Whisky. Not as grim as the Amrut. I really like it. Matched well with the sweet potatoe & spinach fritter. Would be excited to try the edited peated from them.
@JohnnieStumbler: Bourbon-a-plenty on the nose. Lots going on for a young whisky. Some rich fruits on the nose. Rich palate balanced out by a spicy finish. Intriguing. With sweet potato and baby spinach frittata, there isn't a stark contrast. Think harmony.
@cecilnorris1988: Plums, dates, a hint of the dreaded vanilla on the nose for me.

Whisky Discovery #454

Glen Garioch 1995 Vintage 17 Year Old (53.3% abv)
Highland Single Malt
Circa £50.45 70 cl

Glen Garioch 1995
They don’t make it like this anymore! This vintage bottling was distilled in the last year that the distillery used peat in its kiln to dry it’s barley before malting, due to this, there is some peat present but at a very low ppm. Not really noticeable as peat. It’s been matured in first fill ex-bourbon barrels. 

Dave has tasted this whisky before as part of a tweet tasting, click here to see what he thought then.

Nose:  Very spicy with a sweet bread aroma that’s like Panettone bread, there’s an Ovaltine note, and the smell of lemon butterfly cakes. 
Taste:  Begins with a spicy chili heat, followed by barley sugar sweets, sugared covered roasted hazel nuts, slight hint of smokiness and floral notes that’s like a mild black cardamom taste. 
Finish:  Warming spices with a touch of sweetness and smokiness, then spiciness returning right at the end, leaving a dry mouth feel.

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: Smells divine, light hint of peat, sweet, candy & grass on the nose, sting like chilli aftermath. Good warmth. This is a sexy Whisky.
@cecilnorris1988: I've had this before with @JohnnieStumbler. As good now as it was in the Summer '13 A huge shout out to Morn Dew Cheese too. Your marriage with the Glen Garioch 95 17 Year Old is a beautiful one.
@JohnnieStumbler: I'm hugely biased as this is one of my go-to drams. Wonderful. With Morn Dew cheese. Works splendidly. The creaminess of the cheese just marries with the mild peatiness perfectly.

Whisky Discovery #616

The Whisky Lounge ‘Salted Sea Dog’ Batch No. 2 NAS (46% abv)
Islay Single Malt
Circa £21.00 20 cl

The Whisky Lounge Whisky
This is an independent bottling from the lovely folks at The Whisky Lounge. All we know is that it’s from one of the well-known distilleries on the North-East of Islay, and who are not normally known for their peated whiskies. This is non-chill-filtered and free from artificial colouring. 

Nose:  Peat is noticeable but not overpowering. Warm banana bread aromas followed by powdered ginger, and the smell of very dry crumbly fruit cake that’s gone stale. 
Taste:  Nice balance of peat smoke and sweetness. Texture and flavour of watered down cinnamon infused sugar syrup, with some bitterness at the end from lemon pips. 
Finish:  Initially warming with hints of sweetness that lingers, and then warms again, this time of white pepper giving a good length finish.

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: I AM IN HEAVEN! I am not sharing that with anyone. *sits in the corner and has a moment* Salty sea dog, is heavy peat that melts away making you want more. Coal dust, seaweed & a slight twang of 2p pieces #wdt1 #buymeabottle
@JohnnieStumbler: Beautiful peaty, coastal nose. Less of a peat assault on the palate. Gentle and moreish. With smoked haddock rarebit, a symphony of smoke and sea spray.
@cecilnorris1988: Back at St Peter Port in Guernsey. Salt (surprise surprise), seaweed, PEAT!
@Johnnyboythrash: Not a fan of the smoky whisky that we experienced, but this is my & @rosetintvintage first whisky tasting, so still finding palette.

Whisky Discovery #132

Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Cask (40% abv)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £25.00 70 cl

Glen Moray 10
Glen Moray still doesn’t seem to be that well known, it is only a smallish distillery and one of the seven distilleries listed on the Speyside Single Malt Trail, and are located in Elgin, Morayshire. This whisky has been fully matured in for its entire life in Chardonnay cask which gives this dram a light delicate floral feel. 

We first tasted this dram last year. Dave wrote about a posted in thoughts back in May 2012, you can read about it here 

Nose:  Noticeably creamy and smooth, with vanilla, hints of dryness, sweetness from clear honey, and a floral bouquet throughout. 
Taste:  Instantly of the clear honey, leading to a fresh citrus zest which prevents the dram being overly sweet. The sweetness is however present throughout. Texture is a smooth silky feel. 
Finish:  The honey note stays for a split second, a lot shorter than I had expected. A fresh fruity chili heat, like a Scotch bonnet chili, appears and stays, while cereal notes arrives at the same time as leaving the mouth with a dry mouth feel with some bitterness right to the end.

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: Not blown away, a bit too nicey nicey & soft after taste. I like whisky with balls! this is light, sweet, pear drops apples on the nose. It's nice but too nicey nicey.
@JohnnieStumbler: This is a little sweetie on the nose. Fruit and gentle oak. Sweet and lightly fruity; a dessert whisky. Overpowered by the butteriness of the pear crumble.
@Johnnyboythrash: Just found a whisky I really like, and @rosetintvintage agrees.

Whisky Discovery #321

Balcones Baby Blue NAS (46% abv)
Texas Blue Corn Whisky
Circa £55 75 cl 

We have tasted this whisky many times, and it’s one of my personal favourites. You can find out what Dave thought about it when he first 'discovered' it here. 

This is Texas whisky and the only distillery in the world using blue atole corn to make whisky.  Atole corn has a nutter flavour than yellow corn. It gives the whisky extra depth to other corn whiskies but still keeps the freshness and verve of a traditional corn whisky with a smooth finish.

Nose: There’s some sweetness from Demerara sugar, some dry oak notes but more like oak shavings and saw dust, and there’s some creaminess there also. 
Taste:  This reflects the now, starting with caramel notes with some dry oak. Then the nutty flavour of roasted hazel nuts and hints of burnt toasts comes through, balancing out the sweetness. It has a very smooth Crème Brule like texture but without the heavy feel.
Finish:  Again the same flavour profile that you get throughout this dram but begin with warming black pepper. The caramel, toasted bread, and oak notes comes through afterwards, these lingers right through to the end.

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: Honey, macadamia nuts, vanilla on the nose. Let down on the palette, hard corn spirit. It's so unusual it draws you back. Strangely I'm not a huge fan but I can't stop retrying it. Popcorn Whisky.
@Johnnyboythrash: Ooh, the Balcones is even better. Was trying to describe & @rosetintvintage  says nuts & toffee...I'd agree
@JohnnieStumbler: This has corn chips and nuts all over the nose.The palate doesn't live up to the nose but not bad at all. With vanilla ice cream, it's Doritos time!
@cecilnorris1988: Damn you vanilla! The penultimate whisky. I know @JohnnieStumbler and @Mooley are fans of the nose.

Whisky Discovery #610

Douglas Laing Scallywag NAS (46% abv)
Speyside Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £38.00 70 cl

Douglas Laing Scallywag
Douglas Laing has been in business for the last 65 years as the leading independent Scotch whisky master blenders and bottlers. They specialise in selecting single casks and small batch whiskies. I find it incredible that the business was started by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948 and today, it is still owned and run by the Laing family; Fred Laing Jr and his daughter Cara Laing. 

Scallywag has been blended from Speyside malts, all we know is that it includes whiskies from Mortlach, Macallan, and Glenrothes. It’s non chill-filtered and uses predominately whiskies that’s been matured in various Spanish sherry butts, but there is some first filled bourbon casks in there as well. 

Nose:  Initially of some new make spirit then as it opens up to give some vanilla and creamy notes, reminds me of raw Victoria sponge cake mix, and soft butter. There’s also some fruitiness there as well, mainly raisins. 
Taste:  On the initial sip, I found it to be full of almond essence that turns into Amaretto liqueur after several sips. This is followed by the taste of Plumb Schnapps, and then the fruity richness arrives, full of dates and raisins but doesn’t make the whisky feel heavy. Towards the end there’s some lovely creamy shortbread. 
Finish:  Lemon zest and hint of lemon pith, then honey and vanilla notes with raisins right at the end.

Some tweets we picked up from our tasters:
@Mooley: Not out on retail yet! Scallywag Douglas Laing.Toffee, dates, WITH A MASSIVE HIT ON THE PALETE. Amazing So @amjohnno has preordered me a bottle of Scallywag for Christmas. I am a very lucky girl! 
@JohnnieStumbler: A little young on the nose, a tad feinty perhaps.A privilege indeed; trying before general release. With hazelnut tart, it just works really well. Good call. Christmas on the palate. Worth a punt but this whisky hound likes the peat.
@Johnnyboythrash: I like this Douglas Laing Scallywag, and the badge...awesome!

Going by the ‘mmmm’ factor from the room, the top 3 most popular pairings were Douglas Laing’s Scallywag with chocolate and hazelnut tart, The Whisky Lounge’s Salty Sea Dog with smoked haddock rarebit, and the Glen Moray Chardonnay Cask 10 Year Old with pair crumble. These pairings just worked so well together.

My favourite moments from the evening was someone wanting the Smoked Haddock rarebit and Salty Sea Dog on tap, and a lady who was pretty sure she wouldn’t like the Glen Moray because she hated Chardonnay, turned out to absolutely love the Glen Moray! 

Check out our album on Facebook page for some more pictures from the night. 

Lastly thank you…..
We were very lucky to be given a bottle of Douglas Laing’s new little scamp, Scallywag, before it was available in the shops. A big thank you goes out to them, it was the cherry on top of the cake. You can check out their whiskies on their website here. Douglas Laing

I would also like to say thank you to the other independent bottlers and distilleries for their support, and for creating some beautiful drams. For more information on all of the other drams listed in the tasting, and where you can purchase them, visit these websites below:
Until the next time, Slàinte! Kat

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Glen Garioch Experience Part 1 (Tweet Tasting)

This post is long overdue. This Tweet Tasting was the first of a number of Glen Garioch experiences that we have enjoyed over the summer, so look out for following posts coming very soon, including a trip to visit the distillery!

A special Father's Day Tweet Tasting organised by Morrison Bowmore Master Blender Rachel Barrie saw these four splendid drams from the Glen Garioch Distillery delivered to Whisky Discovery HQ. Glen Garioch is not a Distillery that I was that familiar with at the time, although I had bought a bottle of Founders Reserve at the airport on a return trip from somewhere.
Whisky Discovery
Four Glen Garioch samples beautifully packaged, albeit with a little leakage

All four would be new Whisky Discoveries and while three were identified on their labels one of the bottles had a question mark for the abv and 'New?' written for the expression. Were we being tested on a new expression that Rachel thought was worth releasing? It turned out that we were, read on......

Under the #GGGenerations hashtag a large group of tweet tasters were led through the expressions by Rachel herself, however my village internet was playing up again and kept dropping out on me so I missed taking part in the very end. Fortunately I was able to find all the tweets, and of course I had the drams and always scribble my own notes anyway.

Whisky Discovery #453

Glen Garioch 12 Year Old (48% abv)
Highland Single Malt
circa £35.00 70 clWhisky Discovery

First released in 2010, the 12 Year Old is one of Glen Garioch's two core expressions, sitting alongside the NAS 1797 Founders Reserve. Both of these expressions are bottled at the unusual strength of 48% abv and non-chillfiltered (although I understand colouring is used to ensure consistency between batches). This whisky has been matured in a combination of both ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks

So What Did I Think?
The nose opens with floral and herbal notes of heather, grassy, vanilla notes starting to evolve, grapefruit too.

On the palate this is not an immediately sweet dram, opens with bitter grapefruit pith and a huge hit of white pepper, but hold on to it, the fire subsides and becomes creamy with lots of ginger, I wasn't expecting that. The finish is long, spicy at first, softening with a woodiness before turning dry

What did the others think?
@steveprentice: Stewed apples and some autumn fruits all with a dollop of custard whist sitting outside with the grass freshly cut. Some boiled sweetie notes and a touch of chocolate (Cadburys Eclairs?)
@WorldWhiskyDay: Nose: Werther's originals and green apples with nice ripe pears too
@mattveira: Nose; I get vanilla, sweetness, honey, fruit (especially pears) and a fresh flower quality.
@mallygraveson: I can taste the oak and the tress of a Highland forest. Very nice.
@aberdeenwhisky: So smooth and fruity it is like summer in a glass.Perfect after the Aberdeen sunshine we've had recently!
@bumpythechemist: After the first hit of spice, the fruit and malt come back, citrus rind on the finish.

Whisky Discovery #454

Glen Garioch 1995 Vintage (Bottled 2012 55.3% abv)
Highland Single Malt
circa £62.00 70 clWhisky Discovery
This vintage bottling is rather special as it was distilled in the final year that the distillery malted it's own barley. Peat was used in the kilns during the initial phase of drying the barley, albeit at a very low ppm. When the distillery re-opened in 1997 the maltings and kilns were no longer used. One of Glen Garioch's small batch releases, it has been matured in first fill ex-bourbon barrels.

So What Did I Think?
The nose came across as spicy with an underlying sweetness. after a little while in the glass it became more floral for a brief moment until waves of vanilla start. Woodiness comes through with a touch of pencil shavings. This really does have a very enjoyable bouquet and would be quite happy sitting nosing this all evening

Like the nose this starts quite spicy on the palate, and the floral note picked up on the nose comes through as Parma Violets. A drop of water tames the spice and leaves a much sweeter note. The finish is long and spicy with white pepper and a touch dry at the end with citrus pith

What did the others think?
@bumpythechemist: The first thing that springs to mind on the nose of the 95 is peated opal fruits, the green ones
@WorldWhiskyDay: Nose: shortbread peppermint creams! (is that a thing? If not it should be!)
@mattveira: Nose: Very malty! Slight hint of musky mocha at the front, before a bit of menthol, woodiness, banana and fudge notes
@mallygraveson: I'm loving this! 1995 Vintage is Classic. Grapefruit. Sours. Retro Sweets. Refreshers. Wham Bars
@steveprentice: On the palate it's got some heat for sure, it's 55% after all, but it's still retaining a smooth character, a full and nicely oily mouth feel, and lovely fresh summer fruits. The finish is again quite long, helped by the fact it's not chill filtered, oils stick around keeping flavour all over your palate for a good long while, lovely stuff. A drop of water makes it sweeter and more creamy and is recommended for sure.
@aberdeenwhisky: A drop of water's made this dram even smoother, and brought out a stronger hint of peat for me. Still strong banana flavours.

Whisky Discovery #455

Glen Garioch 1986 Vintage (Bottled 2011 54.6% abv)
Highland Single Malt
circa £158.00 70 clWhisky Discovery
An earlier vintage distilled when the distillery was malting it's own barley and still peated a proportion of its malt. Another of Glen Garioch's small batch releases this 25 Year Old has been matured in North American oak casks.

So What Did I Think?
Sweet floral notes initially come across on the nose, with citrus notes underlying; lemons sweetened with heather honey. There's also a very gentle and pleasant peat reek about this one.

Very floral on the palate with Parma Violets, Swizzles and Sherbet Lemons. Although this is almost 55% abv I really didn't think this needed any water as it is so smooth and gentle on the palate. Another long finish and those Parma Violets staying right to the very end

What did the others think?
@aberdeenwhisky: Nose; reminds me of the woodfires in my grandads village in Ayrshire. Peaty but still with bananas.
@mattveira: Nose: Fruit (peach) & spicy ginger, with toffee & hint of smoke. Bit herbal. Definitely menthol peat notes.
@mallygraveson: This is like classical music. It just builds and grows upon crescendo & crescendo! Love it!
@bumpythechemist: Sweet and floral palate gets taken over heavy leather and wood notes. very subtle sweet peat in the background.
@WorldWhiskyDay: I'm enjoying the mouth feel and lingering smokiness. Definitely more woody than peaty!
@steveprentice: The finish is long and richly warming, the peat works to add even more depth and flavour than you already would be used to finding, and behind it all there is the obvious bourbon influence just backing everything up and rounding it off.

Whisky Discovery #456

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak NAS (48% abv)
Highland Single Malt
circa £65.00 70 clWhisky Discovery
At the time of the tweet tasting no information was being let out by Rachel, it was only when the Virgin Oak release was announced that we were told what this was. However as this blog post is so overdue, there's no point pretending that I don't know what it is!

The we're many suggestions being proposed as what cask this spirit had been matured or finished in. The pinkish red hues were suggesting Port pipes to many, including me

So What Did I Think?

The nose has lots of spicy wood notes with a herbal element too that is slightly reminiscent of Vietnamese Coriander. A drop of water sweetens the nose and lots of vanilla notes develop in the glass.

On the palate this is sweet and smooth and creamy, almost buttery. The heather notes come across and there are some tangy orange marmalade flavours too. The initial sweetness is balanced by a savoury side too and has a warming finish with ginger and spices.

What did the others think?

@WorldWhiskyDay: Lovely notes of Parma ham and melons, warm jam tarts and big juicy sultanas!

@darrochr: Top dram, strikes as being a manzanilla or amaroso sherry cask.vanilla notes, very mellow.
@bumpythechemist: Hins of balsamic vinegar, really meaty savoury nose nose on the mystery dram. touch of salt too.
@steveprentice: Rich gold in colour, orange with a flash of pinky red. On the nose to me it smells like sherry's Portuguese cousin, i.e. Port. It's light, creamy, but with a back depth of dark fruits, crushed red grape nuts and a slight farmyard whiff, possibly the esters of new make / distillery character.
@aberdeenwhisky: This has a salty edge with a sweet finish. Definitely something delightfully different on the palate & nose.
@mattveira: Palate: Zest, sweet jam, cocoa, dry maltiness also spicy butterness on the finish. Quite a dry finish too

And Finally....

Many thanks to Glen Garioch for getting in touch and sharing these with us. Four new Whisky Discoveries were added to the Liquid Log, and a bottle of their 12 Year Old joined the stable shortly afterwards. Out of the four, the 1986 Vintage was my favourite, and the 1995 is a cracker too, and is one I would like to add to the shelf soon, but the 12 year Old is an affordable everyday dram, and I like everyday dramming!

Slàinte! Dave