Garnheath 48 1967 Cooper’s Choice

So it’s 1965. Not really, just for the case of this story. Please don’t start acting like it’s 1965, that wasn’t a good time in history. Unless you’re a business owner and want to start paying people correctly. That’d be nice.

You’re Inver House for this trip down history lane, and you think this whole “blended whisky” thing is going to keep going. You’re selling a good amount of Inver House Rare. So you make a new distillery that makes malt and grain whisky to keep supplying it.

Now it’s the 80s, you’re coked out of your mind, need to make more profits otherwise a world leader will call you a loser, and there’s no consequences to constant extraction of resources, to either you or your children. You sell Bladnoch after only owning it for 10 years. The bottom is dropping out of the whisky industry. Everyone is freaking out. Better destroy Garnheath distillery while making sure kid’s cartoons can sell them things. You take another bump. You’ll never see grunge but you certainly lived life to the max.

Garnheath 48 1967 Cooper’s Choice is the first time I’ve tried Garnheath. There are no official bottlings of the single grain, so you have to either try it as part of a dusty blend or an independent bottling. Given the low stock of whiskies out there I may never try another. It was a flash in the pan.

So it’s a Lowland, a single grain, and has some decent years on it. But without knowing anything about Inver House’s methods in the late 60s, especially on a single grain that was made to be blended for a simple daily dram, I don’t know what to expect. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Price: £400

Region: Lowlands

Vintage: June 1967

Bottled: 2016

Cask type: Bourbon Cask

Cask Number 9157

Number of bottles: 170

Abv: 41.5%

Colour: 2.5Y 7/8

Nose: Violets, candy floss, hot buttered rum, brine, vanilla Distinct floral notes, lots of candy, some buttery/molasses notes, and a salt and vanilla note that seem to hang out like outfielders during a no hitter.

Certain aspects (brine, floral, pure sugar) are similar to other Lowlands, however the strong ex-bourbon cask notes are there too. Nice to nose so far, and has some complexity, even though it’s a) low abv. From greedy angels and b) single grain whisky.

Taste: Rocket candies, grassy, limeade, guava, thyme

So we’re left with the strong candy note that sticks around. If you’re not super happy in the current candy season this may not be your thing. Grassier, tropical, and somewhat herbal. Unique, if simple.

Finish: Jujubes, orange pekoe tea, leafy, thyme

Tannins show up to help out the whisky at the end. It’s still grassy, herbal, and sweet, but now at least there’s something new going on.

Conclusion: Solid, if a bit simpler old single grain whisky. I’m excited to have tried something that existed for a short amount of time. I’m lucky to have tried it.

Let’s ignore that for a second. So would it be worth it? Not really. No, this isn’t a bad whisky. It’s a typical nice, floral single grain Lowland whisky with some sweet notes. Nothing wrong with that if you like that profile.

And if you’re hunting down that profile there’s other distilleries (alive and dead) that have made whisky that does it better. This is purely a whisky that you try to say you’ve tried a whisky from the distillery. Perhaps others are better, perhaps they aren’t. It’s a tad pricey to find out, so try before you buy.


Scotch review #1442, Lowland review #61, Whisky Network review #2130

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