A Glen Garioch 1987 single cask isn’t something you see often. In fact, It’s not common to see recent official bottlings of Glen Garioch for private clubs, despite being very prevalent between 2009 and 2014. There were quite a few casks bottled under that regime, my research has a list of 30, but I know there are more out there. These bottlings have ranged in age between 12 and 40 years of age, and have mostly come from ex bourbon casks, although there have been some sherry cask in there, like the stellar Cask 4297 from 1973.
Of those 30 casks, I have either tasted or acquired 16, so there’s quite a ways to go on that journey, which is becoming harder and more challenging every year.
This cask, as well as the 1979 which will be reviewed shortly, were chosen by and bottled for the Chief Whisky Society (CWS), which has bottled a stunning lineup of bottles from various distilleries. The CWS is China’s (maybe even the world’s) largest whisky community, with over 50,000 members.
This Glen Garioch 1987 was bottled at 30 years of age, out of a refill sherry butt.
Glen Garioch 1987, 30 Year Old, Cask 603, Distilled 20.2.1987, Refill Sherry Butt, Bottled for Chief Whisky Society (CWS) on 24.10.2017, 132 Bottles (47.1% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Mahogany, very slow droplets running off a sturdy necklace.
Nose: The first thing that hits the nose is a fruity note of red apple peels, fresh rosemary, stewed apple and cinnamon, going herbal, but towards sage, not the lavender I thought I’d find. There is some red fruit in the background. With a bit of time, the nose goes dry, like a red wine dryness, and chalky, with some of the sage still coming through. Behind it all is a hint of peat with a touch of a far away BBQ with meat on it.
Palate: Thick and viscous, with citrus rind, white pepper and clove. There’s some sage and rosemary on the palate, as well as some kumquat, but without the sourness. There’s also a light sweetness on the tongue, like the sweetness you have left after eating a date.
Linger: Pepper, grapefruit peel bitterness, cooked clove and a little bit of sweet orange. There’s a hint of a buttery smoked sage (like the sauce), with soft pepper around the gullet. The finish is long and dry, with the herbal sage.
Wow! When you think of the mid 1980s Glen Garioch, you’re expecting a lot of herbal notes, and lavender. Not with this one. You get the herbality, but as a refined sage. This cask can redefine how we think of mid 1980s Glen Gariochs.
Well selected cask!
Thank you, Derek Zhang, for your generosity in sharing this beauty!