We had a pleasant surprise the other week when Derek Mair from the Gleann Mor Whisky Company emailed us with the magic words; “I’ve just bottled a 25 year old Glenturret and would like to give you a sample to try”.
There are some really interesting whiskies in the ‘Rare Find’ Collection so I was looking forward to it, especially when the package also included a 14 year old mystery malt and 16 year old Caroni Rum.
Our notes are below.
Glenturret 25 Year Old
There aren’t a huge number of official or independently bottled Glenturrets around, with the vast majority of the whisky going into Famous Grouse. This 25 year old single cask was bottled at a cask strength of 54.1% and 193 bottles have been released.
Neat, there’s honey but very floral and perfumed. Slightly oily but restrained and even with some time to allow it to open up there wasn’t a huge amount coming through.
With water, the nose opens up really well; fresh slightly underripe pineapple and waxy star fruit is the first flavour. Some furniture polish is there but much lighter and fresher than the neat nose. A little green apple appears too.
It’s pretty fiery when tasted neat but that’s unsurprising due to the alcohol. Some citrus, slightly waxy, and unbelievably perfumed, tastes like a flower shop smells! Slightly bitter in the finish. The heavy floral note was a bit too dominant for my tastes.
Adding water and giving it a little time changes everything.
The arrival is transformed into a medley of tropical flavours with pineapple, papaya and apple fighting it out. A subtle waxy bitterness appears and remains in the background before hints of sugar sweetness then it’s back to the fruit.
The bitterness is there until the very end when it subsides leaving a green banana sweetness in the long finish.
After the initial neat taste, I wasn’t sure about this whisky at all.
The dominant floral notes were too much for me, however a little water brings everything into balance and allows the lovely tropical fruits to shine.
There’s a good level of complexity and I suspect spending more time with this whisky would reveal other flavours. A very interesting older bottling.
A Secret Highland Still – Aged 14 Years
This 14 Year Old Highland Whisky is from an undisclosed distillery and has been matured in a first-fill Oloroso Sherry cask for the final 6 years before being bottled at 46%. 182 bottles have been produced.
Rich buttery toffee and some youthful spirit still present.
After a short time, hints of dried fruit appear along with some fresh tobacco.
The Sherry influence is clear, but there’s a lovely rich dusty quality to this nose; like a comfortable worn leather armchair. Quite a contrast to the fruity, floral Glenturret.
Slightly peppery initially with rich dates and raisins. More dried fruits mixed with molasses as it develops and then some nutty, leathery dryness. The finish is long and rich dried fruit to the end.
Water brings out some raisin sweetness but doesn’t change the profile significantly; more light fruit than dusty leather notes. I think I prefer it neat.
If you like Sherry drams you’ll like this a lot (and the reverse probably holds true also). It’s a pretty full flavoured dram packed with dried fruit and leathery notes. Not the most complex of whiskies, but a really enjoyable drink.
Caroni 16 Year Old Rum
This was a little bonus bottle and I have no idea if it will ever be bottled for sale. Caroni was a distillery in Trinidad which operated from 1918 until it was closed in 2002. This 16 year old rum was bottled at 50.9% ABV.
Strangely synthetic note in the nose which I couldn’t put my finger on. Sandalwood and brown sugar sweetness with a eucalyptus tingle coming through at the end.
Some woody sweetness initially but then a dominant rubber taste and texture appears, finish is dry with the menthol remaining around for a very long time.
Rum isn’t something I’ve tasted much of so it’s a bit more difficult to guage this one. This Caroni has an an interesting flavour profile, especially the eucaplytus note, but it’s probably something I’d drink on occasion rather than a regular go-to drink.
Thanks to Derek Mair at Gleann Mor for the samples.
(Image Credit: [Gleann Mor Whisky Company])