After trying their 10 year old expression and loving it, naturally, I wanted to get my hands on the 12. This is a very special distillery. They distill their spirits the slowest in all of Scotland. It's suppose to deliver a smooth and rich whisky. Furthermore, they air-dry their barley, giving the whisky a clean sweet-barley finish.
Nose: Sweet, delicate, fresh barley, toffee, brown sugar, brazilnuts, lemon zest, apples, caramel, coconut. A bit musky.
Palate: Sweet, fresh barley comes through in a gentle manner. Then it Intensifies slowly into caramel toffee sprinkled with white pepper. Caramel coated apples. The sweetness rises once more, but at a higher scale right in the center of the tongue. a touch of cumin.
Finish: Soft, sweet toffee, fresh barley continues. It becomes just dry enough not to let it's sweetness overbearing. Finishing it all off with a dash of white chocolate.
When first opened, it was a touch herbal. As time went, it settled into the aforementioned description. I think that the slow distilling really makes a difference, because this is scary smooth. Furthermore, air drying their barley, IMHO, really puts the barley center stage allowing to savor its deepest cereal flavors. Some people describe this whisky as a "digestif." I think that's an understatement. This is a gem that can be enjoyed at any time of the day that is appropriate to sip an alcoholic beverage, "of course."
I reviewed the 10some months ago. Here in South Florida, I can find the 10 for around $35-$40. I feel that it's a great bargain. The 12 goes for around $50. In terms of taste comparo, they are both similar in flavor, but the 12 offers a deeper, smoother flavor with more caramel and sherry influence and a longer lasting finish. Also the 10, when first opened had a trace of vegetal flavor which I'm not too fond of, but it it was it quickly faded. Furthermore, compared to the Glenmorangie 10 original which is about the same price, same age, feels a lot more matured, not as sharp and definitely not as vegetal.
I know that the folks at Glengoyne use a combo of first-fill sherry with second-fill and bourbon casks. I don't know the ratios.
As for which one to try first, I would start with the 10 of course. I can't wait to get my hands on the 17, I heard its crakin' good
Not bitter whatsoever. There is a slight vegetal note, but only when sipped outside when it's mild and only when first opened. I just finished the bottle today, which I about two weeks opened and it was at its peak. There is more caramel now. Kinda like a Werther's original caramel candy with a kick. It's actually kinda soothing,super smooth!