Review: Glen Garioch 1986 Vintage Single Malt

glen garioch 1986This is the fifth vintage-dated expression from Glen Garioch, joining 1978, 1990, 1991, and 1994 on the market. Bottled in 2011, it’s a 25 year old single malt from this Highlands distillery, and it’s a whopper of a whisky.

At cask strength, it’s quite a heater. The nose is full of intriguing notes from the baker’s rack, including gingerbread, pie crust, and light citrus fruit — but it’s filtered through quite a lot of alcohol, at least until it burns off a bit with air exposure.

The body is equally hot on first blush. Here, the otherwise light peat notes take over, all embers and coal fires with a fiery finish that masks what lies beneath. Water is a huge help with this whisky. A healthy splash turns out all kinds of good stuff. Fruit and those light smoke notes work together to give the body a bit of a barbecue sauce character. Layered on that is chewy nougat, coconut macaroons, and applesauce. A touch of smokiness finishes things off and invites a deeper dive.

109.2 proof. 3000 bottles produced; 250 allocated to U.S.

A- / $250 /

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