Oh my god, will this fucker’s series of reviews of OMC 20th Anniversary releases ever end? Yes, it will, but not today. I still have a couple of unopened bottles left after throwing this one on the pile.
I was very interested in this bottle though. I really liked the last two Glen Gariochs of this general age and vintage that I tried (both from Signatory: a 25 yo and a 26 yo) and I was hoping this would be close to that level. As you may remember, Glen Garioch used mildly peated barley till the early 1990s. They stopped doing so in 1994 and this was distilled in 1993. I opened the bottle for my local group’s January tasting and it was a big hit. Indeed, two members of the group decided to purchase full bottles. I liked it very much too and have been waiting to come back to it to take more careful notes. Here now are those more careful notes.
Glen Garioch 24, 1993 (50%; OMC 20th Anniversary Release; from my own bottle)
Nose: Lemon peel, mineral oil, mild prickly peat (sooty, not phenolic). On the next wave there’s some tart apple and a hint of vanilla as well. As it sits the lemon peel moves towards citronella and mothballs and it picks up a leafy note on the way. With more time there’s some cereals as well. Less soot, more lemon with a few drops of water.
Palate: Pretty much as promised by the nose with the soot more pronounced and some expanding brine as I swallow. Nice texture at full strength. With time there’s more lime than lemon along with some bitter peel but there’re also flashes of sweeter fruit under it all. With more time still that fruit expands and gets muskier (peach). Okay, let’s add water. More acid, less smoke here too with water and it’s a little more one-dimensional.
Finish: Medium-long. The peppery peat and soot continue for a while and then the lemon comes back strong. Salt again at the end.
Comments: Lovely old-school Highlands whisky with excellent balance of restrained fruit and mild, peppery peat. It’s really too bad that Glen Garioch stopped peating their malt.
Rating: 89 points.