Review: Signatory Glentauchers Cask Strength 1997 22 Years Old
Owned by Chivas/Pernod Ricard, Glentauchers isn’t generally the first single malt on the tips of tongues when surveying the landscape of Speyside. Its primary function serves as a cornerstone of Pernod’s global juggernaut Ballantine’s. Occasionally a secondary barrel is released via an independent bottler such as Signatory, where we presently find ourselves.
There is a surprisingly light and clean start on the nose: full of vanilla, nutmeg, and pear belying the 22 year old age statement affixed to the front label. A few drops of water bring out woodier notes, giving way to floral elements as well. The real joy is in its palate: light autumnal touches of vanilla bean and cinnamon before the oak influence of the bourbon cask bears down on a short, respectable finish filled with apple and raspberry notes which are sweet but not heavy-handed or syrupy.
The lightness of this single malt brings to mind designs of summer sipping. From nose to finish, there is a welcome absence of complexity. Not all things need to be in a state of perpetual challenge, and simplicity proves to be this particular Glentauchers’ best asset. To find such minimal and effective qualities in a single cask speaks well to Signatory’s keen curatorial duties.
86 proof. Reviewed: Barrel #4167.
A- / $180