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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Glen Garioch 16 year old 1998, cask 987 for Binny's

Monday's sherry cask Glen Garioch and today's bourbon cask Glen Garioch were excellent sparring partners, both fascinating while different in every possible way.

Like last Friday's Glenfarclas, this Glen Garioch was an official bourbon cask selected by a popular American retailer. But these two whiskies also occupied nearly opposite ends of the whisky spectrum.

 Glen Garioch
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Region: Eastern Highlands
Age: 16 years old (March 1998 to 28 April 2014)
Maturation: "North American Oak Cask" (Saskatchewan is that you?)
Cask: 987
Outturn: 201 bottles
Exclusive to: Binny's
Alcohol by Volume: 55.1%
(Thank yous go out to My Annoying Opinions for the sample)

Toasted grains, honey and almond butter lead off the nose, with hot cereal and hot bricks in the midground. It's young and spicy, with cinnamon red hots and green peppercorns in the background. The palate begins sweet and lemony up front, slowly revealing loads of barley and almonds. Then wee highlights of tart tropical fruits and pickled ginger. It finishes long, tangy and crisp. Almond butter and lots of tart citrus.

DILUTED TO ~48%abv, or > ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose delivers a lovely combination of barley, pears, apples and raw manuka honey. The palate leans even closer to wort than before. It also holds chile oil, herbal bitterness and cinnamon red hots. There might be a hint of soap in the background, though. The finish is all roots and herbal bitterness.

While the Astor Wines Glenfarclas seemed to target a contemporary American palate with all its oak and sugar, this Binny's pick couldn't give less of a shit about that audience. The whisky reads about half its age, but in a good clean way that will appeal to those of us who miss the spirit-forward stuff. MAO found very similar notes in his review, down to the (good) apples and ginger, as well as the (odd) diluted soap thingy. As he does, I prefer it neat. I'd take this "North American Oak Cask" whisky over the 1999 Sherry Cask Matured Garioch any day.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87

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