I haven’t had too much luck with recent Glen Garioch. Then again, I’ve not had very much of what’s been officially released. I didn’t like either the NAS Founder’s Reserve or the 12 yo enough to want to try their other vintage releases. This is a single cask selected by Binny’s though and a Binny’s pick is usually a safe pick. Well, that didn’t prove to be true for me with Monday’s Clynelish. Let’s see how this one goes.
Glen Garioch 16, 1998 (55.1%; American oak cask 587; from a bottle split)
Nose: Slightly gingery, slightly minerally, slightly peppery to start along with some biscuity/malty notes. Fruit comes up from below that (apple), along with some vanilla. Gets sweeter and creamier as it goes but there’s a minerally sourness (aspirin) behind it. With more time there’s some lime as well. More lime with water and slightly chalky now too.
Palate: As on the nose, it leads with gingery, malty notes but the fruit is here from the get-go: a basket of apples along with some lime peel. Maltier on the second sip and more peppery too. Very drinkable at full strength but let’s see what water does. As on the nose, water brings out more citrus here as well and also more pepper.
Finish: Medium. The malt and pepper hang out for a while and the powdered ginger pokes its head out again. With time the lime peel hangs out longer. With water there’s a soapy note on the finish which I’m not crazy about.
Comments: This is very nice. Very much in line with the profile of the Founder’s Reserve and the 12 yo but without the astringent finish or general wood-driven character of the former and with a lot more fruit than in the latter. I’m drinking the rest of my share without water. This cask forms an interesting Highlands triptych, along with the Clynelish and Ardmore, in Binny’s recent selections: would make for an interesting flight. Well, maybe I should give the other OB releases a shot.
Rating: 87 points.