Thursday, January 8, 2015

Whisky Review: Gordon & Macphail Glentauchers 16 Year

Glentauchers, is generally an obscure malt, but pulled off a trick that very few distilleries built in the late 19th-century managed: surviving the Patterson Crisis. Check out Malt Madness for the full history (and some transposed dates).

My only previous exposure was a 7 year old first-fill sherry cask that was bottled for The Good Spirits Co in Glasgow. That was only a taste, so I didn't get much of a sense of the distillery character.

This particular whisky is the semi-offical bottling from Gordon & Macphail, which was bottled at 43%, presumably with chill filtration and possibly with caramel color.

Thanks to Florin for the sample.

G&M Glentauchers 16 Year

Nose: clean malt, graham crackers, floral vanilla overtones, unripe green fruit, banana, very light oak, slightly vegetal, baking spices, and a hint of bacon-y smoke. After adding a few drops of water, the floral elements are emphasized over the malt, it becomes cleaner and less vegetal, with a touch of sea air and incense popping out,

Taste: sweet & sour malt throughout, cardboard-y oak, floral/vegetal mid-to-back, artificial fruit flavorings in the middle. After dilution, the sweetness becomes more syrupy, with the floral and fruit overtones integrating into the malt.

Finish: sour wine edge, floral/vegetal, malty, very mild cardboard-y oak, purple bubblegum

This one really seems to suffer for being bottled at 43%. G&M bottles often punch over their weight, but this one feels like it needs more than it has to offer to really shine. There are suggestions of depth and complexity, but the majority of what I'm getting is nice, clean malt. I can see why this would be good for blends, but it's not quite hitting the mark for me. However, if you'd like to try some, The Party Source appears to still have it, with the caveat that they don't ship alcohol anymore.

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