Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve (48%, OB)

Glen Garioch, pronounced Glen Geerie, used to be a powerhouse of a whisky and several legendary bottlings, like some “vintage” 1968’s or the Samaroli’s from the 70’s. It’s this tasters feeling, and I could be very wrong here, after that, Glen Garioch felt a little bit silent. Not production-wise of course. It just seems to have slipped into anonymity. I haven’t written a review of a Glen Garioch up untill now, since I don’t come across a lot of samples of Glen Garioch, nor do I buy a lot of more recent Glen Gariochs. A classic case of being biased? Thus the curtain rises and taking center stage is this bottle of Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve.

Four years ago Glen Garioch revamped the looks of their bottles. Exit the standard scotch liquor bottle with the stag label, and enter this elegant ánd dumpy (metro man) bottle. In the new range of Glen Garioch are some NAS (No Age Statement) bottles, Like this ‘Founder’s Reserve’ and the ‘Virgin Oak’. There is also a 12yo and the rest is all ‘Vintage’, where the younger ones are all cask strength and the older ones are bottled at the new preferred strength of 48% ABV. After 40%, 43% and 46% ABV, now an even higher proof becomes standard.

Color: Full Gold.

Nose: Very young and malty, spicy wood and it smells almost like new make spirit. Funky. It fits the fashion of issuing younger and younger whiskies. This probably is not older than five or six years old with maybe some partial ageing in virgin oak. Grassy, vegetal (hints of lavas) and latex paint. Not quite what I expected. For me too young and anonymous. Lacking character. The little bit of character it does have on the nose comes form the oak.

Taste: Punchy oak carried by the higher than usual ABV. I’m guessing this does need a higher ABV. Half-sweet and light with the slightest hint of bitterness from virgin oak, fresh walnut skins, cardboard and some licorice (and tar). This is a young woody whisky. And the palate doesn’t really offer a lot of character above the nose. Medium finish. Anonymous, but also nothing actually wrong. Better than a lot of other drinks, but amongst its relatives of the single malt kind…

Tomatin Legacy is also a Whisky that is not older than 5 years old. But for me a better and cheaper choice. No notes of new make spirit and not solely built around the wood from the cask. These new kinds of Whiskies are definitely tailored for a new type of Whisky-drinker. I’d like to know how this new Whisky-drinker is described…

Points: 76

Thanks go out to Laura!