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Monday, September 12, 2016

Single Malt Report: Glenturret 10 year old (2014)

The Edrington Group has designated Glenturret distillery as the home of Famous Grouse blended whisky.  Thus one can go to Glenturret get The Famous Grouse Experience.  I reckon the cheaper path to The Famouse Grouse Experience is via a $20 liter bottle at Trader Joe's, but what do I know?  Glenturret distillery only produces 340K litres a year which is about 1/32nd that of Macallan, another ingredient in Famous Grouse.  I'm assuming they wanted to put The Macallan Experience at Macallan, thus had to stick the Famous Grouse Experience somewhere else and not disturb the exploited Nordic gods at Highland Park, so Glenturret it was.

Their marketeers claim Glenturret is the oldest distillery (est. 1775) in Scotland.  If so then why haven't they yet figured out how to make a functional 10 year old single malt.  Oops, I've already started spoiling my review.  Let me back up.  Florin (a prince) gave me two separate samples of his bottle of Glenturret 10.  I opened one of the samples for casual drinking and found the contents so mediocre that it left me craving Famous Grouse.  The second sampled served for this review.

Distillery: Glenturret
Owner: The Edrington Group
Region: Southern Highlands
Maturation: ???
Age: 10 years
Release Year: 2014
Alcohol by Volume: 40%
Chillfiltered? Probably
Caramel Colorant? Yup

The color is orange gold, not exactly the most natural of hues.  The nose is bland young-blend-like spirity.  There are small notes of butter, flower blossoms, and tropical fruit flavored candy.  But the biggest notes are sulphur, burnt barley, and vanilla.  After 20+ minutes the sulphur recedes and paper pulp enters.  On the palate, there's a lot of ethyl heat covering up honey, white fruits, and vanilla.  Hints of cinnamon candy and notebook paper.  With time the honey note grows, crowding out the rest of the flavors.  The finish is also oddly hot, with hints of peach candy and vanilla.  It's quite sour and grows bitterer with time.

Maybe a little water?

WITH WATER (~35%abv)
Paper, yeast, and cinnamon on the nose.  Then honey, sulphur, and floral soap.  The palate has an awful entry, all bitter sour wort.  Then it suddenly gets aggressively sweet.  Plenty of vanilla.  The finish is bitter, short, and hot with a saccharine sweetness.

Maybe more?

WITH WATER (~30%abv)
The nose brightens up a little with roses, cherry lollipops, and simple syrup.  The palate is bitter and bland, mostly absent aside from some vanilla.  It finishes unpleasantly.

This has me not only preferring Famous Grouse, but also Glenrothes(!).  That's how glum it is.  It's not a failed whisky, but there's nothing to recommend in it while neat.  Adding water is bad idea as well.  From the looks of most European online retail sites, this 10 year old has been phased out for a bunch of tarted up NAS releases.  Dare I say, that was a good idea.

Availability - Some European retailers. Probably not in the US (yay!)
Pricing - $30-$55
Rating - 68