Here we go with the fourth session for October. A flight with quite some differences. Hailing from the Highlands we have a Glen Garioch. They have recently re-branded their range. We’ll check what the spirit thinks of that. Our Speysider is a Benromach which is always pleasant in my books. Scapa, from the island of Orkney, is not very common and I have yet to try one myself. Lets start with that one!
Scapa, Gordon&McPhail, 43% vol., 2001-2016
S:3 G:3 P:1, Colour: white wine, Score: 78
Starts with lots of fresh fruit: I find ripe lemons, pears and kiwi accompanied by some vanilla. Sugar cookies and some yeast. Also a slight mineral accent, wet rocks by the sea. Smell the ocean breeze? Initial oak attack on the palate, medium sweet anf drying, lemons again. A stack of drying hay some Marzipan and oddly, sweet Mustard. The finish is rather short with lots of tannins from the wood. Some rebellious 3rd fill…😂
Benromach 15, Original Bottling, 43% vol.
S:5 G: 5 P:2, Colour: amber, Score: 87
Off the bat it’s quite sweet and full, some barley sugar followed by brine. Sweet and salty is always a favorite! Beeswax, a little new leather and moss in the forest. I find all sorts of jams as well: Apricot, peach and my beloved orange marmalade. The mouth feel is creamy and start with a peppery catch. Good wood and lots of it. Medium sweet a little drying, compliments to the oak. Malted barley and some candied oranges. This one gets smoother and more palatable the second time around. Once in a while I encounter a Whisky that seems to improve with every sip, I do think that’s an asset. Slight hint of smoke and a salty breeze from the ocean…How poetic! Finishes long and leaves your mouth wanting more. What I always enjoy with Benromach is the lingering aftertaste of a traditional dunnage warehouse. Quite spectacular, as expected. G&M are doing what I would like to see more often: Single malt with character produced the traditional way! Big thums-up from me.
Glen Garioch 12, Original Bottling, 48% vol.
S:4 G:3 P:2, Colour: light copper, Score: 86
The nose is intense and somewhat heavy. Full and spicy. Dark fruits abound: Plums, figs maybe some forest berries, some rising bread in the background. After a few minutes the fruit disappears and I get much more substantial aromas. Some game stock and cured bacon from a backwoods butchery. This nose is a meal! Could I order a side of curly fries? 😂 …back to work! Tastes sweet and spicy. There is a zippy and quite peppery oak but that remains pleasant. Dried apricots and seaweed. There’s something to try! In the background there is a trace of strong Ethiopian coffee. The finish is medium long and getting dryer.
I like this heavy nose a lot too bad the palate doesn’t deliver. Still, very solid uncommercial style…