The Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve is the entry level malt, without age statement, of this Highland Distillery. It was, as the name suggests, founded in 1797 in Old Meldrum. Since 1984 the distillery is in the hands of Suntory, who owns Morrison-Bowmore (which, besides this distillery, also run Bowmore and Auchentoshan).
The powerful nose is very fruity and malty. Think apples, pears, gooseberries and a hint of peach. You can actually smell the grain. Some vanilla, ginger, touch of oak and some honey. Underneath I found some furniture polish and even a hint of bubblegum. It is not bad at all, but it does suggest a young age.
The arrival is soft, but it grows quickly. The apples and pears return, albeit in a jammy fashion now, and the spices are louder. Ginger, pepper and some liquorice. Midpalate the tannins rear their heads.
The finish is quite long, but the fruit is subdued by the pepper and the oak.
Nice Glen Garioch, ideal as entry malt. I was also pleasantly surprised that it was bottled at a higher strength. Around 40 EUR. Thanks, Pat!