Review No.68. Glen Garioch 12 Year Old

I have mentioned a few times that you should not take regional descriptors of whisky flavours too seriously.  Glen Garioch 12 and 15 year old provide an excellent example of why that it.  I was at a tasting event when I first tried Glen Garioch 15.  I soon as I smelt it I assumed it was a speysider and when I tasted it I was convinced it was.  It was rich and full of juicy red fruits with a hint of roasted nuts.  The kind of flavour profile you get with sherried whiskies. I described it as Christmas in a glass.  However, I learnt that Glen Garioch is a highland distillery.  I was keen to try the rest of their range so was excited to get hold of the 12 year old which is bottled at a generous 48%.


Whisky: Glen Garioch 12 Year Old Single Malt, 48%.

Nose: Butter, honey, victoria sponge cake, lemon treacle, floral

Taste: Lemon oil, floral, buttersctoch, nuts, dried fruits, toast, oak, tannins

Finish: Oak and leather, roasted nuts

Score: 3.25

Summary: I can taste the resemblance between this and the 15 year old.  Where the 15 year old has more depth and richness the 12 year old offers something a little lighter but nonetheless tasty.  There is sherry influence here too but I did pick up some tannins at the back end which I was not so keen on.  The nose is sumptuous but it doesn’t translate completely onto the palate.  Some water and time helps with this one given that it is at 48%.  The finish let it down a bit too.  Putting those negative aside I still enjoyed it overall because the combination of all the other sherry influenced flavours, and being 48%, makes this a solid single malt.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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