Glenturret 33, 1980 (The Whisky Agency)

I noted in Monday’s review that Tullibardine is in the general vicinity of Glenturret; here now is a review of a Glenturret. This is my first Glenturret review and it may well be the first Glenturret I’ve ever tried, I purchased it in 2014 when 33 year old whiskies from unsung distilleries could still be had for very reasonable prices, and pretty much for that reason. I knew/know nothing about Glenturret’s general profile, but a long time in a refill hogshead is usually good news for whisky from any distillery. It was bottled by the Whisky Agency and sports one of the whimsical labels they were doing at the time. Well, I guess they might still be doing whimsical labels—I just can’t afford to buy Whisky Agency releases anymore. I opened this for my local group’s premium tasting earlier this year and it was very popular. I’ve been enjoying drinking the bottle down ever since and look forward to finishing it when I’m back in Minnesota next week*. 

Glenturret 33, 1980 (42.8%; The Whisky Agency; refill hogshead; from my own bottle)

Nose: Fruit, fruit, fruit: orange juice, apples, pears, berries, flashes of tinned pineapple. A bit of musky malt under the fruit and a bit of the metallic/glassy note that often appears in older whiskies whose strength has dropped a lot. The orange expands as it sits and there’s a bit of apricot too. After a few minutes there’s a herbal note as well. With a lot more time the metallic/glassy note takes a slightly grassy turn. Brighter with water.

Palate: After the expressive nose it starts out a little flat on the palate but then there’s an explosion of fruit as I swallow and it’s far more tropical than on the nose: lychee, papaya, pineapple, tart mango, makrut lime peel. The texture is a little bit thin. With each sip the fruit jumps out earlier. Not much change with a drop or two of water.

Finish: Medium. The fruit fades out and the oak finally emerges. With a bit of water the fruit hangs around longer.

Comments: Ah, the magic of a relatively inactive hogshead for >30 years: the fruit here is on par with the storied Longmorns, Tomatins and Caperdonichs of the early 1970s. More proof that there’s nothing magical about those distilleries in those years: leaving spirit of a certain kind in refill wood for three decades seems almost guaranteed to produce this sort of fruity whisky. At the low strength it’s a little more restrained and lacks some textural depth (and perhaps a bit more fruity development on the finish) but I’m not complaining. It’s going to be all downhill from here for me with Glenturret isn’t it?

Rating: 90 points.

*In case you’re wondering (and you probably weren’t), the notes for most of the whiskies I’m posting reviews of this month were taken well before; but the introductions—as in this case—are usually written the night before the post goes up. Actually, that’s my modus operandi most of the time when I’m home as well.

2 thoughts on “Glenturret 33, 1980 (The Whisky Agency)

  1. In related news, Edrington just announced they are selling Glenturret (and the Cutty Sark blend). I was really surprised by this because they are keeping Famous Grouse which uses Glenturret in the blend.

    Hey MAO, should we pool our money and put in a bid?


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