Glentauchers 21, 1997 (Archives)

Last week I reviewed one of the first five releases in Whiskybase’s Archives label to hit the American market—an Orkney 15 yo (Highland Park). Here now is another from the set: a 21 yo Glentauchers. I don’t have much experience with Glentauchers—not very far beyond the three I have reviewed on the blog. The most recent of those reviews was of a 20 yo from 1997, bottled by Signatory, a vatting of two bourbon barrels. I quite liked it though it didn’t rise to the level of anything special. Will this one be much the same? This is a single barrel, for what it’s worth. Let’s see what it’s like.

Glentauchers 21, 1997 (53.3%; Archives; refill barrel; from a bottle split)

Nose: Very juicy as I pour with orange, lemon and apricot. No sign of oak at all first. As it sits the citrus moves towards citronella and a slight chalkiness emerges along with a leafy quality and some dusty oak. With time the fruit gets muskier and there’s some sweet pastry crust as well. Water pushes the leafy note back and the musky notes expand.

Palate: Pretty much as predicted by the nose. Lovely, syrupy texture. Starts getting sweeter as I swallow. This might have real potential with water—I’m going to wait a bit and then add some. With time a metallic, slightly grainy note emerges. Less grainy but more leafy and herbal/rooty with water; the muskier fruit from the nose shows up too. Sweeter with time and then the metallic note comes back.

Finish: Long. Sweet citrus and that leafy note from the nose keep going for a while, picking up an oily/zesty bitterness at the end. Gets a bit too sweet with water.

Comments: A lovely, fruity, summery malt at first but then there was just a bit too much of the leafy/metallic thing for my liking. And the development I was hoping for with time and water didn’t quite pan out. A very good whisky though. If i had a full bottle I’d probably drink it neat, or experiment a little with water (maybe I added too much).

Rating: 87 points.

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