Review: Glen Garioch 1965 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

21 years
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Glen Garioch (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

Here’s an old one! This was distilled in 1965, two years before Glen Garioch was closed and decommissioned. At the time, Glen Garioch was notably more peated than today where it tends to be more fruit-forward. This is from a bottle that has been open (but mostly full) for quite a few years...

Review (2017)

  • Batch: 1965, Dark Vatting

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 1986

What a nose! Smoky wood, but old smoky wood – like a burnt piece of wood that is wet. Magnificent sherry notes. Apple seeds, green apple, clove, cinnamon, peach, prunes, burning leaves, vanilla, eucalyptus – it holds heavy notes and light notes together in harmony. Quite earthy, too. The palate is magnificent – sharp, spicy smoke gives way to light orchard fruit, particularly ripe, sweet peaches, before heavy and rich sherry notes take over – dark dried fruits, spice, and bright green apple. The finish is rich, magnificent, and heavy – fruity, spicy, woody (but not overly so). Fruitcake, white pepper, sticky toffee pudding, dates (terrific), apple seeds, and mixed vegetable skin (think squash and cucumber).  Minutes after you’ve swallowed, glorious rancio makes its presence known too – but lighlty. Beautiful balance, and beautiful integration of flavor. Remarkably thick for 43%....

A touch stale, here and there...maybe it’s been in the bottle too long. Nonetheless, a glorious malt, and one of the best I’ve had.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: N/A