Friday, 4 October 2013

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak


Distillery: Glen Garioch
Bottling: Distillery Bottling
Age: NAS
Strength: 48%
Cask: Virgin North American Oak.
Being a big Glen Garioch fan I had heard about this in the pipeline quite a while ago and have been patiently been tapping my feet waiting on it being released.

Not many single malts are put into virgin north american oak, as the delicate malt can be quickly drowned out by the strong and harsh flavours which come from the wood, and of course choosing casks which have previously been used for bourbon (or sherry) as the wood impact will be much less.

I like to think Glen Garioch are being pretty progressive at present with trying some different things out rather than sticking with the old tired age statements, where consistency means less room for experimentation.

Nose: Right on the tail of my previous tasting of a Glen Moray in a freshly toasted cask, I immediately think my nose is going to get a blast of oak but I am completely wrong. Lots of fruit and strong. Rich, cooked and caramelised with orange marmalade, apricot jam and sweet berrys which reminds me of Ribena and Vimto. That syrupy note continues and reminds me of being off sick from school and getting Orange Lucozade and sweet Calpol medicine. The orange continues into the sweet shop and gives me the tang and mouthwatering melting of Terry's Chocolate Orange. Twix bars with chewy caramel, milk chocolate and a biscuit base.

Palate: The oak hits first, but only for a second and is quickly backed up by the fruit. Chocolate, caramal and butterscotch. Medium body.

Finish: Medium-Long finish which is warm and relaxing with a autumnal presence. Creamy and spicy with that chocolate orange lingering on.

This is nice, and it is nice to see Morrison-Bowmore's master blender Rachel Barrie willing to try something new, however I do wish it had been put out at natural strength like the Vintage releases though but maybe it needed to be lower strength to show off the malt as in all honesty I probably wouln't have added water anyway. I rarely do.

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