My last visit to Scotland was a short one, following the London Whisky Show. Short or long, though, a stop at Glen Garioch in Oldmeldrum is a must, as there’s a new bottle your own cask on tap from their two or three that are regularly available. The new cask is a first fill red wine barrique, filled in 1999. Knowing how fabulously Glen Garioch spirit interacts with wine casks from the 1998 Wine Cask Matured (reviewed here), getting a bottle was a no brainer. I will say that I’m still debating if the 1998 Wine Cask should be counted among the Vintage series, since they were all bottled at cask strength and the 1998 was bottled at the Garioch strength of 48%.
Last year, I picked up a stunning sherry matured bottle (see visit recap and review here), and this year it’s a first fill wine barrique. I tasted it at the distillery, and enjoyed it immensely. It’s now time to sit down and spend some real time with it.
Glen Garioch Bottle Your Own, 1999 First fill Red Wine Barrique 1420, Distilled 9 June 1999, 18 Years Old (56.5% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Reddish copper, quite viscous with slow legs peeling off a sturdy necklace.
Nose: A very warm nose, with gingerbread, spices, orange blossom, freshly ground cloves, red berries – blueberries, raspberry and strawberries, and you do get hints of the wine. Later some minty notes appear with oak.
Palate: Wood spices, rose petals, pepper and hints of strawberry. A bit of water strengthens the spice and it’s full of oaky tannins and some saltiness.
Linger: Citrus and spice, a sweet and dry linger, with a dryness on the inside of the cheeks. With water the spices and dryness are increased.
This dram isn’t playing around. This is serious stuff, not to be taken lightly and not for casual sipping. You’ll want to give this dram time, and have a pipette with water around, as you’re in for a ride. I will say that I can actually understand why the 1998 Wine Cask Matured was bottled at 48%, as there’s something wildly intense in the cask strength expression.
I’ll mention that I have a 15 year old Bordeaux Wine Cask Finish from the old days at 50%. That will have been peated malt, and when it gets here I plan to taste the 15 year old Bordeaux against this cask and the 1998. That should be a fascinating comparison.