Glen Garioch 2012

Pronounced ‘Glen Gee-Ree’ in the local Doric language, this east coast Aberdeenshire distillery has a credible claim to being Scotland’s oldest working distillery – though its official founding date is in 1797. Located among fertile and picturesque farmlands, Glen Garioch produces a whisky that reminds the drinker of malted grains and cereal products, though extra sweetness is coaxed out with age.

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Cask Details

DistilleryGlen Garioch
RegionHighlands
Age9 years
Distillation DateJuly 11, 2012
Cask TypeRefill Bourbon Barrel
Peated?No
Re-gauge ABV63.50%
Re-gauge Litre of Alcohol (RLA)123.9 litres
New Bulk Litres195.1 litres
Re-gauge DatePending
Bottles278
Cask Number2943

The Wood

Beam Suntory took ownership of Glen Garioch in 1994; since then, the distillery has had access to the highest quality bourbon casks on the market. Beam Suntory’s portfolio includes the likes of Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam, so we can say with some degree of confidence that this cask has come from one of these iconic Kentucky distilleries.

The Spirit

All of the stills at Glen Garioch are a squat onion shape and have unusually long Lyne-arms – both of which are associated with a thicker, chewy spirit. These factors, combined with a relatively short fermentation time of 50 hours, result in the new make spirit of Glen Garioch being viscous, slightly sweet and cereal like.

“If you enjoy wholesome malty flavours, then the Highland single malt Glen Garioch should satisfy your tastebuds.”

— Dr Rachel Barrie, Glen Garioch Master Blender (2013)

The spirit of this distillery has changed a few times over the last 200 plus years. Up until the 1990s, peated spirit was produced here; the move towards unpeated has resulted in the older peated releases becoming extremely desirable. A further change is imminent for the distillery as they are shortly going to change from the stills being steam-heated to directly fired, meaning the spirit in this cask is soon to never be produced again.

The Masters

Dr Rachel Barrie is truly a pioneer of the whisky industry with a career spanning over 20 years and an extremely diverse portfolio. Managing the bold flavours of Islay with the likes of Laphroaig, and softer spirit such as Glen Garioch, is an incredible balancing act.

“On a single day I could be nosing casks for Bowmore 12 year old, conducting a tasting, interpreting analysis on malt peating levels, creating a new Auchentoshan whisky, writing tasting notes, speaking to whisky aficionados about Glen Garioch.”

— Dr Rachel Barrie, Glen Garioch Master Blender (2013)

MacMillan joined Deanston in 1991 and his first task was to resurrect the site after a 9 year closure. This was a monumental task but, in just under a year, the distillery was back operational and has been the backbone of some of the most recognisable blends on the market, such as Black Bottle.

The Verdict

Glen Garioch casks are not something that is seen very often; even the likes of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society have struggled to get their hands on spirit and casks from the distillery, making this an excellent opportunity to purchase something desirable and small batch. In addition to this, the imminent change in the spirit production means that there will be a finite amount of spirit produced in this way and, if history is to repeat itself, the liquid from this time is likely to be highly sought after in the future.

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Auction Details

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