Okay, let’s move away from Diageo distilleries. You’ll recall that, as with last week’s survey of Diageo distillery exclusives (here, here and here), this is also a week of reviews of highlands distilleries. It started on Monday with a 12 yo Teaninich bottled for K&L in California. Today, I have for you a 12 yo Glen Garioch also bottled for K&L in California. This one is not from the Thompson Bros. but from one of K&L”s usual hookups: Old Particular (a label from one of the Laing outfits). Bourbon cask Glen Garioch is often austere and always interesting and I’m hoping this one will be too. Let’s dive right in.
Glen Garioch 12, 2008 (52.6%; Old Particular for K&L; refill barrel; from a bottle split)
Nose: A very interesting opening with a mix of lime and mineral notes with some pine and powdered ginger mixed in there as well. On the second sniff there’s a bit of vanilla as well and then it starts getting floral (not flowers themselves so much as floral-scented talcum powder). Gets fizzier as it sits (i.e it smells like it should be a fizzy, fruity drink) and also simultaneously begins to smell like gin. A few drops of water push the talcum powder back; still floral though.
Palate: Pretty much as indicated by the nose with some pepper popping as I swallow. Hits harder than the abv would indicate; nice weight. The gin thing happens here as well but so does the talcum powder—and it’s more astringent/artificially chemical here. Okay, let’s see what water does for it. It emphasizes the pepper.
Finish: Long. The floral note expands here and gets just a bit soapy. Roasted malt emerges as it fades. Peppery here too with water.
Comments: This is very Glen Garioch and very non-cookie cutter. That talcum powder thing was not too my taste but it is otherwise an entertaining whisky and would be nice to have on hand as a change-up. At $50 this would have been a very good deal.
Rating: 83 points.