Glen Garioch

Glen Garioch 33 Years Old 1978 (58.8%, Milroy’s of Soho, Cask #10999, 146 Bottles, 2015)

Glen Garioch 33 Years Old 1978 Milroy’s of Soho

Whisky Review

  • Highland single malt scotch whisky
  • 58.8% ABV,
  • £300 for 70cl from Milroy’s of Soho
  • Score: 91/100

MOS6

What they say:

In November 2012 Milroy’s of Soho proudly launched a rare bottling of 33 year-old Glen Garioch single malt, having visited Scotland’s most easterly distillery earlier in June. This is the latest in a long tradition at Milroy’s of Soho of selecting single casks by hand, and a welcome addition to our range of collectible and scarce bottlings. Below is our account of how number 10999 became the chosen cask, yielding just 146 bottles.

Back in June we were sent on a secret mission to Glen Garioch; one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, founded in 1797. Distillery Manager Kenny Grant (son of previous manager ‘Digger’ Grant – so named because he  had a digger) gave us the grand tour, through the barns with their malting floors, a large mash tun and washbacks, before entering the distillery warehouses, filled with rows of casks stacked high on top of one another, containing slowly maturing whisky.

While touring the distillery we were almost carried away by Kenny’s infectious enthusiasm and intriguing knowledge. We had however a mission to complete: to return with an impeccable cask of whisky that could bear the name of Milroy’s of Soho. We were presented with a selection of cask samples from 1989 through 1978 for our contemplation – this is the part we enjoy most! We took some time to savour the unique flavours of each whisky, all enticing in their own individual ways, but it was one little dram that showed that elusive spark; it seemed almost supernaturally difficult to pin down…

We went to Glen Garioch in search of a very special bottling that we could proudly present to our knowledgeable and discerning customers; something remarkable, supremely elegant, and with such complexity as to reveal extraordinary flavours with every sip. It should reward lengthy contemplation. Our aim was not driven by concern for budget or profit margin, nor did we have a marketing campaign in mind. We were simply looking for something a little different – certainly not a one-dimensional crowd-pleasing blockbuster – something that would delight true whisky enthusiasts. We found our answer in Glen Garioch 1978 cask no.10999; this little gem takes its time to open up, but when it does its subtle complexity is mind-boggling, packed with revelatory moments. This is a connoisseur’s dram: pour yourself a glass and experience something rather different from the mainstream.

What I say:

Sampled during Milroy’s of Soho Tweet Tasting 2

Nose:

new paint, esters/banana, pineapple, sweet sherbet!

Palate:

Sweet pineapple cubes, faint oak wood, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon, cask strength? With water, much more warming oak wood comes out, beautiful. Guess –  bourbon cask, cask strength, 25+ Years old…

Finish:

Long drying oak wood, spiced and herbal

Overall:

A superb dram [hard not to be at CS], zingy, spicy, fruity and pleasantly woody, very characterful indeed.

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