...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Glen Garioch 21 year old 1993 Adelphi

Adelphi's sherry cask bottlings are in demand in some single malt circles here in the US of A, as the whiskies are dark as mud and the prices are high. I can't say I've found the trio I've tried to be anything but very tannic and tight. But today's whisky has/had some positive word of mouth so I went in on a wee bottle split for an official review. I have positioned it in a head-to-head matchup with a 20+ year old GG I've previously reviewed, and I'll reveal that one on Friday. First, the Adelphi sherry cask:

Distillery: Glen Garioch
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Region: Eastern Highlands
Bottler: Adelphi
Age: 21 years old (1993-2015)
Maturation: 1st fill sherry butt
Outturn: 221 (likely split with a second Adelphi release)
Alcohol by Volume: 58.6%
(from a bottle split)

At first the nose signals a big dessert-y whisky, with milk chocolate, toasted nuts, baklava and toffee. Gradually pine, forest floor and brine notes rise to meet up with the sticky treats. A bit of long-aged rye whiskey spices linger in the background. It's difficult to find the palate at first due to a wall of heat. After some time the notes sneak out: dates, golden raisins, limes, toffee and a hint of pecans. The finish goes from sweet to nutty to tangy, but the heat stays the longest.

DILUTED TO ~48%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Though the nose has a slight herbal edge to it, the desserts win out. Think vanilla powder and butterscotch. Cookies loaded with white chocolate and toffee chips. The calmer palate has gone creamy and nutty. Some dried herbs in the midground and over-steeped black tea in the back. The finish matches the palate with maybe a few peppercorns thrown in.

Luscious nose, simple palate. No heat on the sniffer, an ethyl blaze in the mouth. Water mellows everything out, but provides no new sensations. While it's truly a snuffer — maybe rub some in your hands, behind the ears, elsewhere as needed — this Glen Garioch's palate raises nowhere near the excitement. There's plenty of alcohol to it, so perhaps dilution experimentation is required to find the sweet spot. It's another whisky that may have scored higher had its competitor not been so damned good. More on that tomorrow.

Availability - Sold out?
Pricing - $200+
Rating - 86