Glen Garioch – from one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland

Special thanks to Doug Doughty, aka First Dude of Western Canada, for submitting this whisky review.

On one of my recent sojourns into the SAQ (Quebec’s liquor stores) I was idly wandering through their whisky selection, as I often do, when I saw a whisky that caught my eye, Glen Garioch.  It comes from one of the oldest whisky distilleries, dating back to the 1700s, and is located near Aberdeen; making it the most easterly distillery in Scotland.

On the box, it describes the tasting notes as “fresh heather, poached pears and malted barley, crème brulee, and sweet ripe fruits give this Glen Garioch a long and memorable finish.”

I poured a dram and I examined the colour; it was the colour of golden honey. It had a warmth and was very appealing.

The nose was lively and very fresh. It held some nuances that I couldn’t identify but they filled my nose with delight and a hint of peat. I could detect a heather honey smell and a slight whiff of caramel.

On first taste, the palate was sweet, but not overly so, and oh how it lingered. On second sip, there was more sweetness and again the hint of peat, a lingering sweet smokiness. When I started drinking whisky, I wasn’t overly fond of the smoky, peaty flavours that are present in many whiskies, but I have grown to appreciate them more as my palate develops. And the Glen Garioch has a subtle yet appreciable smoke to it. Like the sweetness, it isn’t overpowering, it’s just the right balance.

The finish, which does last as advertised, leaves your tongue all tingly. It’s the perfect complement for a good cigar; the sweet and smoke combining and lingering with the subtleties of the cigar. A perfect match.

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