One of the things I love about whisky (and a variety of my other hobbies) is that it can push you just a bit outside your comfort zone.
I prefer to write about distilleries I’ve drank from a lot. Then I can kinda ramble. But it also means I have to try very hard when something pops up.
Enter Glentauchers 17 1998 Gordon & MacPhail Cask Strength, the second Glentaucher I’ve ever had to date. And the first one was handed to me solely because I hadn’t had anything from Glentauchers. Sadly there isn’t much to say: They were mothballed in the 80s, used for blends until 2000, and many people were like myself.
So we have three casks that were vatted after aging in refill sherry casks. We go into it knowing at the time someone was debating if Glentauchers was going into a blend or if it was going into a single malt. Maybe they planned it, maybe they didn’t. Maybe the fae were involved and the place where the decision was made is now surrounded by moss and a ring of rocks.
But not knowing and having to learn something is amazing in adulthood. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: € 105.00
Vintage: October 7 1998
Bottled: April 11, 2016
Cask type: Refill sherry casks
Cask number: 2410, 2412, & 2416
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Honey, pralines & cream ice cream, blackberries
Weak, hard to pick out the complexities, even with water. There’s something there, it just hasn’t developed that strongly. Thus the ice cream comment. Yes, that’s what I meant. Of course, I’m totally a smart, well organized adult and such.
Good sweet and tart notes, but again as hard as finding a fresh strawberry in January (please note I wrote this while winter was still a thing in 2021).
Taste: Roasted cereal, mineral, floral, caramel, peanut
Now we can discuss the flavour: Roasty, mineral… huh, kinda loses the plot after that. This doesn’t taste of 17 years or at cask strength at all. It tastes simple and there’s nothing really interesting.
It’s mostly just that roasted cereal note. Which is nice (toast your rice krispies people) but it’s not really showing any of the sherry influence at all, or a well developed spirit note either.
Finish: Plum, lime, burnt wood, peanut butter
It’s a bit interesting at the finish. I’m getting some acidity, some well developed fatty/nuttiness, and even some development of that roastiness. It’s nice, if late.
Conclusion: Weak nose and very nut heavy. There’s complexity on the nose that’s hard to pick out properly. There’s an interesting finish where they play with acidity and some of the nuttiness, however it’s too late.
So there’s one of two things going on here: First this dram is another one of Gordon & MacPhail’s just okay cask strength offerings. Which I’ve had a few. They never have rough notes, they have some quality, but they don’t quite live up to their stats.
On the other hand perhaps I’m not a big fan of Glentauchers. And that means I should try more. I’m going to try and figure it out. For now, for you, reader, try this before you buy it.
Scotch review #1415, Speyside review #399, Whisky Network review #2095