Glen Garioch 12 Years Old (2017)
My introduction to Glen Garioch was a good one, as this limited release of a 1995 vintage really hit a lot of right spots for me. Or maybe introduction is the wrong word here, as I had tasted a few expressions before. Those however, were all distilled after 1995.
That’s the year that Glen Garioch was mothballed by Suntory for two years. When the distillery started producing whisky again, they no longer used peated malt. And by peated, I don’t mean in your face peat like Laphroaig, instead I’m talking about subtle, restrained use of peat.
In Glen Garioch whisky, a light touch of smoke used to be common. Peat was a supporting player, rather than the star, which is exactly the way I like it. Long story short, this modern iteration of the Glen Garioch 12 Years Old is made with unpeated malt. I thought you’d like to know that.
Glen Garioch 12 Years Old (48%, OB, 2017)
Nose: Slightly farm-y with some nice graininess, accompanied by dried grass and tobacco. It has a touch of pickled lemon peel, as well as some softer orange notes, before progressing nicely into notes of apricots and peaches, and caramel.
Taste: Full-bodied and somewhat spicy, with roasted peanuts. Some tobacco and leather, and it is a tad malty too. Finally some bitter oak and vanilla.
Finish: After a little while it becomes a bit sweeter. Medium in length.
Good start, with plenty of fruit on the nose, too bad the palate is a bit more one-dimensional. Still, a very decent entry-level malt, this is.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.