Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve Review - Glen Garioch 12 Years Review


“Glen Garioch Special”

Introduction:

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. I usually buy these in Holland and sometimes in Germany or the UK. Sometimes I receive samples from friends or readers or independent bottlers. In only two cases I received a few samples directly from distilleries. When planning my reviews for the coming months I always try to give attention to all Scottish Whisky regions as well as other Whisky/Whiskey/Bourbon producing regions all over the world with special attention to the USA, Ireland and Japan. And last but not least the blends. At the request of many readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific distillery like today or with specific bottlers, countries or regions. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't go into details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In this special I will review the two core range expressions of the Glen Garioch Highland distillery. Enjoy!
================================================



Whisky Review # 736

Country: Scotland
Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (6-8 Years I would think)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 40-45 (June 2018)
Buying Advice: 😉 Not for everybody! Good P/Q ratio if you like "dirty" Malts.

Colour

Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Young and Light. Definitively Refill Ex-Bourbon casks. Ample use of Caramel I would think given the Amber colour. Mainly Sweet with a few Green, Dusty and Salty notes. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Apple, Pear, Lemon, Raisins, Grass, Dried Herbs, Heather-Honey, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caffe Latte, Grapefruit, Orange, Gooseberries, White Grapes, Hazelnut, Dusty Road, Floral Soap, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cooked Cabbage, Wet Cardboard and Wood Polish.


Picture Credit: Whisky.com

Palate:

Very strong and hot Delivery. A slightly lower ABV of 46% would be better in this case. On the Bitter-Sweet Palate the Founder's Reserve can't hide its Youth. It's quite Edgy and Nervous and the Alcohol is too present. But it's not boring & far away from you average mainstream Highland Malt.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Caffe Latte, Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, Raisins, Hazelnut, Pepper, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol, Herbal Tea and Charred Oak.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Straw, Rye Whiskey, Dirty Earth, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cocoa Powder, Raw Meat and Leather.

Finish:

Middle Long, Bitter-Sweet, Musty, Dusty, Dirty, Hot, Salty and slightly Metallic. A bit Tannic towards the Medium-Dry End. This is not for everyone I think. Nothing mainstream here. If you like Springbank and/or Tobermory you should give this a try. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Nuts, Wet Sand and Stones, Herbal Tea, strong Espresso, Charred Oak, Grass, Dirty Earth, Apple, Lemon, Orange Juice, Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon, Menthol and Cherry-Flavoured Cough Drops. A hint of Dark Chocolate after a few minutes.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and Dried Fruit and Nougat develop on the Nose. On the Palate and in the Finish Spices, Alcohol and Menthol become even stronger. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 82

Nose: 20 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5  - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience:

Interesting!

Conclusion:

Glen Garioch was founded in 1797 and is located in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire. It is owned by Suntory from Japan since 1994. The current core range consists of the two Single malts I'm reviewing today.

Both the 1797 Founders Reserve and the 12 Years were launched in 2009. The Founders Reserve certainly stands out in the sea of boring mainstream entry Single Malts. I know, it's Young and too Hot and Dirty and Dusty and it's not very well-balanced. But at least it's got character and that is a rare virtue when you look at today's standard Single Malts. It's not for everybody but if you like Springbank, Tobermory and BenRomach you should certainly have a look at Glen Garioch. I'm looking forward to try the 12 Years!


Picture Credit: Whisky.com

=================================================


Whisky Review # 737

Country: Scotland
Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Glen Garioch
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48% 
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherry Wood.
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 45-50 (June 2018)
Buying Advice: 😀 Good P/Q ratio. Well-Balanced Malt. Bit on the Hot side!    

Colour:

Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Light but Pleasant. The Sherry casks are noticeable. On the Nose, the 12 Years is Floral, Fruity, Malty and Yeasty. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Heather-Honey, Demerara Sugar, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Figs and Apricots, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Straw, Dusty Track, Lemon, Orange Peel, Dried Herbs and Cinnamon.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caffe Latte, Apple, Pear, Charred Oak, Rye, Pepper, Wet Rock, Strawberry Jam, Tinned Pineapple, Leather, Resin and Mint.

Picture Credit: Whisky.com

Palate:

Bitter-Sweet, Yeasty and slightly Hot. A few Sour notes as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Butter, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Raisin and Banana, Vanilla, Orange Peel, Pear, Lemon, Heather-Honey, Grass, Straw, Dusty Track, Charred Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg and Herbal Tea.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salted Caramel, Espresso, Grapefruit Juice, Cocoa Powder, Demerara Sugar, Rye and Wet Rocks.   

Finish:

Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet and quite Hot. Very Peppery towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Raisin and Banana, Apple, Grass, Hazelnuts, Charred Oak, Pepper, Dusty Track, Orange Zest, Wet Rocks, Yeast, Cocoa Powder and Espresso.   

Drinking Advice:

The 12 Years does not really improve with added Water although it's a little less Hot of course. More Malty for sure. I prefer to sip it neat.

Rating: 84  

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21  

Drinking Experience:

Good 

Conclusion:

The 12 Years is a completely different animal when compared to the Founder's Reserve. It's got much more Balance and the Sherry casks soften up the Spirit. The extra cask time gives the 12 Years a more mature appearance. It's a lot less Dirty and Mean when compared to the 1797 FR and certainly more mainstream. This 12 Years won't scare away beginning Whisky drinkers although it's still a bit on the Hot side. But it's a good way to start getting to know Glen Garioch. Deep in my heart I know this is the better made Single Malt but somehow I miss the raw character that is certainly present in the 1797 FR. In any case, Glen Garioch certainly deserves more attention than it gets today. I fully enjoyed this Tasting session.

Jan van den Ende                                                                      June 4, 2018

Picture Credit: Welcometoscotland.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Jan,

very nice review. Actually, I do like Glen Garioch very much and the 12yo is a very good standard OB in my opionion. Their special editions like the "Renaissance" series are extremely good. And, I discovered a 15 year old version, exclusevely matured in ex oloroso casks, which was orginially designed for travel retail but now is available at specialized shops. An absolute stunner and a sherry bomb, of course. But, you can still feel Glen Garioch's special style...

https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/72508/glen-garioch-15-year-old

Best regards
Björn

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Bjorn, thanks for your kind comments. And thanks for the tips! I will try to get more samples of Glen Garioch expressions. It's an interesting and undervalued distillery! Cheers, Jan.