Two recent exclusives from The Whisky Exchange, released in conjuction with Gordon & MacPhail. Similar in age, but very different in style, the Glenturret and Glenlivet sit at either end of the non-peated whisky spectrum. The Glenlivet matured in a refill bourbon barrel, while the Glenturret hails from a refill sherry hogshead.
Glenturret 2004 14 Years Old (55,1%, Gordon & MacPhail, Batch 18/083)
Nose: Not to be a buzz kill, but there’s definitely some sulphur here. Copper coins and gun powder. Luckily not too dominant, as there’s still room for dates and figs, as well as plums and cinnamon butter. A nice touch of cherry syrup too, accompanied by cloves and nutmeg. Taste: Sweet arrival. The palate is an assortment of (dried) red fruits and spices. Cherries, blackcurrants, bitter oranges, but also chili pepper and ginger, with whispers of nutmeg. Finish: Lingering hints of almonds and milk chocolate.
Glenlivet 2003 15 Years old (59.4%, Gordon & MacPhail, Batch 18/091)
Nose: Big on the vanilla sweetness, plenty of custard, as well as cinnamon sugar, with just a hint of glue. A good amount of pickled lemon peel (quite tangy indeed), and cookie dough and bung cloth as well. Taste: Oily and sticky almost, with a very sharp and spicy arrival, which is something that I also remember of the old 16yo Nàdurra. Sweeter and fruitier now, although the spices are still very much present. Whispers of charred oak too. Finish: Lingering spices, evolving into soft orchard fruit.
Neither of these are for the fainthearted, as they are high in strength, and aren’t afraid to show it. In both instances water is no luxury. Don’t be afraid to play around with it, as they do swim rather well.