Glentauchers 8yo 2005/2013 (46%, Dewar Rattray, For the Specialist’s Choice The Netherlands, Sherry Puncheon #900389, 403 bottles)

We are now in the middle of the rise of NAS Whiskies and very soon most Whiskies in our regular shops will have a names instead of a number or a vintage even. Whiskies that do have an age statement will be confined to airports and other travel retail outlets. But that’s only one of a few possible futures. What will happen to the Independent bottlers? Will they have a way to survive. Today many of them are capable of releasing pretty good Whiskies, although mediocrity is creeping into their products as well. How long will casks of Whisky be available to them? Are we going to see only affordable yet young Whisky from them as we already see with NAS Whiskies from the distilleries themselves. After the Ledaig I reviewed last, here we have another young Whisky coming from a Sherry cask. Glentauchers this time. Earlier I reviewed an older Glentauchers. also from a Sherry cask that was pretty good to say the least…

Glentauchers 8yo 2005/2013 (46%, Dewar Rattray, For the Specialist's Choice The Netherlands, Sherry Puncheon #900389, 403 bottles)Color: Full gold.

Nose: Sherried, creamy and fresh. Herbal and woody. Nice creamy oak, yes creamy oak. Fruity candy. Very likeable. Powdered. Quite a lot of vanilla. It really smells like a Sherry cask made with American oak.

Taste: Creamy and funky Sherry. Real acidic fruitiness right from the start. The creaminess and fruitiness don’t necessarily mix together well, especially when a paper-like note appears. In time that strange mixture passes and reveals more sweetness with the vanilla coming back here too. Paper and cardboard make up the finish, but not by itself. Notes from wood, mocha, Cappuchino, cigar box and creamy vanilla are also here to stay but mainly the fruity acidity returns with a vengeance. Whisky candy. Do you know those fruity gello’s in dark chocolate. That kind of fruity acidity contrasted by sweet dark chocolate. Accept this and you’ll be ok. Interesting stuff.

Although this has some flaws, it is also highly drinkable. This may not fetch the highest score, but it most certainly is nice to drink. Don’t analyze this to death, just grab it for the fun of it. Make it your daily drinker. I often rant a bit about reducing Whiskies, because sometimes the reduction makes the Whisky thin and watery. This time however I will hold my tongue, since I don’t feel reduction hurt the final product. It is good like this. I’ll stop now and pour myself another dram.

Points: 84

Glentauchers 16yo 1997/2013 (54.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, Cask Strength, for The Whisky Exchange, Refill Sherry Cask #5580)

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.

Glentauchers 16yo 1997/2013 (54.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, Cask Strength, for The Whisky Exchange, Refill Sherry Cask #5580)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.

Points: 88

Many thanks go out to Stan Reid for pulling this one out from under the counter.