Yes, another first on these pages. Glentauchers. A favorite amongst connoisseurs! Independently of each other, I hear a lot of people who work in the Whisky-business, that this is somewhat of a guilty pleasure for them, so worth to check one out. I got a chance to try this Glentauchers bottled by Gordon & MacPhail just before it was bottled, and although it was bottled some months ago, finally it is now officially released.
Color: Copper Brown.
Nose: Raisins, butter and pretty winey. Quite floral. Fresh Sherry. Ashy and great wood. Bourbon honey and perfectly creamy. Looking deeper, it’s more leafy and paper-like, more dry. This doesn’t seem very complex at first. The distillery character is still there underneath and the Sherry is like a blanket on top. Smallest hint of salty smoke and even less of dried fish. Little bit of licorice and citrussy acidity. Bonfire (but not the smoke of it, more the presence, does that make any sense?). Nice balance.
Taste: Ha! great stuff. Full on Sherry, not to sweet, not too dry. Creamy and chewy with spicy wood. Wow. The middle drops quite a bit, but picks up near the end. Warming caramel and sweet and woody finish, with some bitterness. Licorice and a little bit of soap even, the floral bit returns. Again nicely balanced stuff. Bit of a rollercoaster. Salty lips.
This new Glentauchers just goes to show that the route taken by Gordon & MacPhail is the best way of doing business. Most other independent bottlers fish out of the same pond, and mind you the pond is drying out, like the Aral sea. Less and less (good) aged casks are finding their way onto the market, and with that also the quality drops. In the end a lot of independent bottlers will have to fold. Gordon & MacPhail have a strategy of clever cask management. They send their privately owned high quality casks up to the distillery, have them filled, and store them at their own humongous warehouse facility. This way they have good casks, and by that, control over quality.
Many thanks go out to Stan Reid for pulling this one out from under the counter.