Glen Garioch 15 years

"I believe they picked a good sherry cask for this one, and the slightly dirty side makes it a rather interesting whisky, however, the development in the mouth is slightly on the short side"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Apparently one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glen Garioch has been supplementing their standard range, consisting of the non-age-stated Founder’s Reserve and the 12-year-old, with multiple vintages. As any other distillery, they also have special releases have officially been reserved the travel retail market, but nevertheless are often found in regular spirit shops. This includes a 15-year-old version that has been matured in Oloroso sherry casks and is released in small batches at cask strength, non chill-filtered and without any added colourative agents. We had this as part of our blind tasting competition, and guess what? I didn’t guess it, you’re right.

Nose

Starts off rather meaty, containing a hint of sulphur, though not disturbing, and rather fat. Obvious notes of dates, many other dried fruits, including cranberries and prunes. In addition, honey-glazed meat on the barbecued. It is very strong on alcohol at first, but that mellows out. A hint of red fruit compote, followed by a hints of leather or probably rather rubber tires, and black berries. With water it still is relatively closed, with more leathery notes and dry sherry. Water does increase the balance, adds more red fruits, supplemented with hints of sweet liquorice, sweet dried apples. The apples are taking the forefront after some time, while the whole gets sweeter adding caramel, and much more honey to the mix.  I thin water does improve it. And maybe a very faint hint of smoke in the background. Rather intriguing.

Taste

From the beginning it provides dried fruits all the way with some bite of the alcohol. Reduced red fruit sauce, some hints of geraniums in the back, and office coffee are there, but everything fades rather quickly. With water, but please be careful with adding too much, it indeed gets better. It becomes more cake-y and leather-y, there are oranges, while a bit more water reveals orange soda. Water make is slightly fruiter and fresher. More oranges and maybe even a drop of lemon juice, no wait, rater a drop of apple juice.

Overall

I believe they picked a good sherry cask for this one, and the slightly dirty side makes it a rather interesting whisky. However, the development in the mouth is slightly on the short side. In fact, I definitely prefer the nose. It is certainly one for lovers of a heavy sherry influence in their dram. Me, I never have been too enthusiastic about this distillery, but that is just personal, and I can imagine that this style appeases the palate of many other whisky enthusiasts. 

What others say

Whiskybase: 86.14 (10 votes)
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
55%
Peat/smoke
15%
  • Dried fruits
  • Leather
  • Apples
Nose 86%
Taste 85%
Balance 86%
Depth 85%
Finish 84%
Score