Among the barley fields of Aberdeenshire lies Old Meldrum, a small town which John and Alexander Manson found ideal to built their distillery in, in 1797. Glen Garioch (say ‘glen geerie’) was purchased at the start of the 20th Century by Sanderson & Son, the makers of the famous VAT69 blend. Early ‘70s Stanley P Morrison took control before it was taken over, together with Bowmore and Auchentoshan, by Suntory from Japan in 1994. We will try the official 21 Year Old from a few years ago, before the range got the overhaul and was put in new livery.
Immediately the nose shows some smoke, with oranges, tobacco leaves, sherry and vanilla. Some mint. Slightly floral. Leather, toffee and caramel. I was not expecting this level of complexity to be honest.
On the palate, the oak is the first to get noticed. The sherried whisky shows that wonderful peat again, which does make it somewhat special, although the nose promised more. Sweet and round, sure, but more vanilla and caramel than fruit. More grains too, with a bit of syrup.
In the medium long though powerful finish, I get mint and peat again. Bitter death.
The nose is great, but the palate and finish are merely flawless. It lacks a bit of individuality, I guess. Good, but not exciting. Around 140 EUR.