If there is something I could change in the whole whisky industry (other than prices, of course, but after such a long run of a buyer’s market, we can’t really have any other expectations), it would be bringing back Glen Garioch’s malting floors.
There’s a real magic in the 1990-1991 whisky produced at the distillery in those years. Those expressions don’t have the herbal lavender that characterized the mid 1980s for the distillery (I have written elsewhere of the causes and relation to Bowmore’s infamous FWP), and are rather wonderfully farmy and robust.
I’m not saying that this would necessarily mean that all the whisky needs to revert to that style (I really doubt that would even get past the first round of discussion) but since the malting floors are still in place and the kiln fully operational, doing a few runs of a Glen Garioch (the actual valley, where barley is grown to this day) for a ‘Local Barley’ yearly expression, would be outstanding.
For now, though, I’m happy to drink 1990-1991 expressions, like this one.
Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection Glen Garioch 1991, 25 Year Old, Bourbon Hogshead, 222 Bottles (47% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold, very viscous with very thin legs and a lot of residue.
Nose: Honey and ginger, with a floral note. There’s also hints of pineapple and white pepper and a very light smoke.
Palate: Citrus bitterness with unripe green mango, with honey and the same white pepper. The bitterness and the spice play on the tounge, with a light hint of that Garioch farmy peat.
Linger: Spicy with the bitter zest and a lovely woody dryness. Ginger is present here too, with a bit of peat in the gullet.
This is a lovely Glen Garioch, although the official bottling of the Vintage 1991 is more iconic with the epitome of farmy goodness that the floor malted Glen Garioch expressions can bring.