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Glen Garioch 1986 25 Years Old

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 73

Glen Garioch 1986 25 Years Old

Product details

  • Brand: Glen Garioch
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 54.6%
  • Age: 25 year old
  • Vintage: 1986
  • Bottled: 2011

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Glen Garioch 1986 25 Years Old

One of the problems I have with trading samples with my fellow whisky society members is - I tend to forget about them. I mean, they're small bottles hiding in the cabinet! Then I usually find them at some point while I'm going through the inventory. But even worse is when I don't label them properly - and months later I come across it and have no idea what I'm looking at. Sigh.

In this case, the label says "1986 Glen Garioch". No other info, and I can't remember the bottle it came from. And so after copious and exhaustive research (ie. 40 seconds on Google) I found two suspects:

  • Distillery bottling, 1986 vintage, 25 years old, Batch No. 11, bottled at 54.6%
  • Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask, 25 years old, bottled at 50%.

Knowing our society's affinity for independent bottlers, I suspect it is the OMC. I'm quite sure it's not the distillery bottling (it's pretty expensive). Or is it something else entirely...?

The colour is a deep yellow. On the nose, I first get that old-fashioned dusty leather-bound book note that I love about this distillery. Quite malty, and very fruity, with peaches and apricots. Just the right amount of oak spice. Besides that, though, it's not particularly complex. A little more herbal with water, but that's about it.

On the palate - hmmm strange. A weird off-note, very sour. Behind that, however, there are more citrus fruits and tart green apples. Water ups the maltiness, but this is quite unpleasant.

On the finish, black liquorice and more peaches, but still very off (it gets worse the longer you leave it in the glass). I can't tell if this whisky is just lousy, or if it's gone off while sitting in the sample bottle for some months. Is that possible? That sour off-note reminds me of a Bowmore I once had, distilled in the 1980s...and Bowmore and Glen Garioch are owned by the same company...coincidence? Plus I've had lots of samples that have been fine after many months, and the nose on this seemed fine. Personally, I think it's the original malt that is simply not good...but who knows? This whisky remains...a mystery.

it's batch 11, bottled at 54.6%. i actually liked the nose, but the palate is disgustingly soapy. i bought this bottle after one of the gents at whisky advocate wrote a review and gave it a score of 90. this is, hands down, my biggest regret when it comes whisky purchases. i'm sorry i gave you some, i'm usually a decent guy.......

Ah - thank you for clarifying! Too bad I cannot edit the particulars of this review...it's funny, it doesn't taste like a 54.6%. I didn't include soapy in my descriptors but that is right on. Ah well - don't apologize, it's all good my friend, it's all part of the journey...


This vintage 1986, a respectable quarter of a century old, was scored at the Spirits in the Sky festival. It matured on American Oak, whatever that means. Bourbon, sure, but 1st fill?

The nose is sweet on yellow fruit and coconut, but has a sour side, even more pronounced than the 1995. I am also reminded of peach. Light peppers. Soft smokiness. A truckload of vanilla custard. Bit of chocolate. Some smoke and a wonderfully dusty side that transports me straight to the attic. Nice.

It is mouth coating and very sweet. Herbal too, think violets (the flowers) and notes of earth. Very spicy. Ginger and pepper, mostly the latter. Again vanilla and yellow fruit. Pineapple cubes and dried peach. The peat is unmistakable.

The finish is long and very smoky.

A sturdy 25 year old Highlander. Around 140 EUR.

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