I have had the pleasure of tasting the 8-year-old Glen Garioch, a Highland distillery near Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire, bottled by Dràm Mòr. It was fully matured in a refill bourbon hogshead, bottled at 55 % and is available to purchase from select locations.
The nose on this whisky is heavily fruity. I am getting notes of melon, pear and ripe pineapple, for some odd reason giving me associations to rum. The slightest hint of smoke is making itself known to me, giving it a kind of oily aroma. Then vanilla, something I am identifying as dried figs maybe, mild honey and floral notes, and malt. I am also getting a bit of dunnage in the back.
I decided to add a couple of drops of water when I had a little bit of whisky left in the glass, and it made the vanilla note more pronounced, kept the delicious fruitiness while becoming a lot more mellow with a peculiar note of hard candy.
After leaving the glass empty for a little while, it reveals even more fruit, sweet smoke and also peaches in particular.
When tasting the Glen Garioch, I am instantly tasting several of the notes I got on the nose, like melon, overly ripe pineapple, pear, caramelised sugar, woody notes from the oak, vanilla, malt and some peppery spice. I generally have a hard time detecting sweet, mellow smoke in whisky, but there is a subtle note on the palate I am unsure how to describe, not overpowering in any way, which I believe is an ever so faint wisp of smoke.
The longer it is left to breathe in the glass, the more it makes me think of that specific time when the seasons change from summer to autumn, and nature starts decomposing. Again I am getting dunnage with those mushroomy, earthy notes of a damp forest floor.
A couple of drops of water makes it more bitter, the dunnage a bit more apparent and less fruity. I much prefer the Glen Garioch without added water, even though it did become smoother.
I am not sure whether the finish is medium or long, I can not seem to be able to make up my mind, but it has a lot of melon, pineapple and pear. The fruitiness of this whisky is marvellous, and transitions into an oaky bitterness with a little bit of biscuity malt to finish it off with.
To me the alcohol in this whisky is a little bit harsh – this coming from a fan of cask strength whiskies. I would have liked it to be a little bit smoother, as this would have made it more pleasurable to drink to me. Personal preference, nothing else. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this dram, and would I drink it again? Without a doubt.
Cask # 2697
Refill Bourbon Hogshead
ABV: 55 %
Dràm Mòr Group Ltd. are family Scotch single cask whisky bottlers, choosing individual casks to showcase the best of every Scottish whisky, originating from the once highly influential town of Dumbarton, which rests in the shadow of its iconic Rock, Dumbarton’s medieval Castle, an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, and which boasts such whisky legacy as Ballantine’s and is home to Pernod Ricard’s Chivas.
A huge thanks to Dràm Mòr for kindly sending me this sample.
Tasting notes and opinions about this release are strictly my own.