Glen Garioch’s line of whiskies was revamped a couple of years ago, with new packaging, no chill-filtration, and higher strengths (not to mention, higher prices) the key changes. Oh, and some reductions in the ages of the core whiskies too. In place of the old 15 yo there is now a far more expensive 12 year old (a review follows tomorrow), and the NAS (and $20 more expensive) Founder’s Reserve replaced this old 8 yo (which used to be a staple in the Duty Free in New Delhi’s international airport in the early-mid 2000s, easily recognized by the stag on the label). I’ve never actually tried it before, however; no time like a few years after something went extinct to finally make its acquaintance.
Glen Garioch 8 (40%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Over-ripe bananas and kiwi; quite grassy too. Not so very far away from the Founder’s Reserve with some gingery, woody notes present here as well. A little maltier with time. Let’s take it below 40% and see what happens: nothing, nothing happens.
Palate: Quite similar to the nose, with some added sweetness and white pepper. Despite the low abv this has a nice mouthfeel and does not taste very watery at first sip. With the second and third sip, however, a lot of oomph disappears and the pepperiness is the main note. Okay, a little later there’s some pleasant gingery sweetness and a little bit of lime and something a little chalky. Good to not rush to final judgement. Water actually causes the limey note to expand and mix nicely with the malty/gingery sweetness.
Finish: Medium. The malty notes hang on for a while and there’s some wood spice and pepper too.
Comments: I liked this more at first than at the end but it’s certainly not bad at all. Not much complexity to speak of but, on the whole, it’s a nice, light, fruity aperitif whisky. It’s also not worth mourning very much on its own merits but it should be said that this was priced very much as an entry-level malt when it was around; the Founder’s Reserve has the virtues of higher strength and no chill-filtration but I can’t say those things make me like it enough to want to pay the greater price for it.
Rating: 80 points.
Thanks to Patrick for the sample!