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Monday, May 8, 2023

Glen Garioch 19 year old 2003 SMWS 19.84

Two more sibling casks of Glen Garioch, distilled on 17th February 2003, aged in first-fill bourbon barrels, and bottled by SMWS. It has been a great group of whiskies, with only the last one showing some flaws:

Distillery: Glen Garioch
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Eastern Highlands
Independent Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 19 years (17 February 2003 - 2022)
Maturation: first-fill bourbon barrel
Cask #: 19.84, "Under an apple tree - that's where I want to be"
Outturn: 205 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 52.8%
(from a paid event)


Another winning nose! Barley, dead leaves, and mushrooms right up front. Ocean air and cantaloupe in the midground. Toffee, green apple, and a hint of vanilla bean in the back. The softly sweet palate starts with apples, lemons, and malt. Hints of bitter orange peel and toasted oak spices appear after 30+ minutes. It finishes with some salt to go with the sweetness. Oranges, apple peels, and a little of caramel candy make up the details.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose picks up a variety of citrus fruits, some brown sugar, and a touch of malt, but the forest notes have vanished. Meanwhile, the palate gets burlier, tarter, bitterer, and more mineral. Truffle salt, black pepper, and zesty limes sing the loudest. Then the finish goes sweet, with oranges and vanilla.


I adore the neat nose; if the neat palate took on that style (with some of the diluted palate's edge), then we'd have the GG03 winner. But the neat palate is merely comfy — look at that complaint! — with the oak starting to soften things up. Dilution flips the nose and palate around. Likely bottled at the right time, the barrel was loudest in the finish, but decently integrated elsewhere. That neat nose, though!

Availability - 
European Union

Pricing - €142
Rating - 87