One of the first Scottish distilleries to be given a license, Glen Garioch has a long history. Today it is still making great drams, and their Renaissance series is the perfect example.
Glen Gariochhave a long past, starting in 1797. They are the most easterly distillery in Scotland, based near Aberdeen, in a town called Old meldrum.
They operated for the whole of the 19th and most of the 20th centuries, until they were mothballed in 1968.
The distillery had gone through lots of hands by this stage and it wasn’t until 1972 that they were reopened. This was when they were bought by Stanley Morrison, founder of what is now the Morrison Bowmore company.
In turn, Morrison Bowmore were bought by Beam Suntory, who now run them.
This is the third instalment of the four chapter Renaissance series. It is a 17 Year Old, released in 2017, following the pattern of a 15 Year Old released in 2015 for Chapter 1 and a 16 Year Old released in 2016 for Chapter 2. One can only guess at what Chapter 4 will be.
Ron Welsh, Master Blender at Glen Garioch describes it as, “Growing richer and bolder over time, The Renaissance Collection will take you on the fascinating journey that whisky goes through in the barrel. Glen Garioch 17-year-old showcases our unique flavour profile and perfectly continues our story of heritage, leading way to the pinnacle of the series, Glen Garioch 18-year-old.”
The nose opens with a nose of sweet honey, juicy citrus fruits and rich barley. The grains really play a background role, but they allow the bolder flavours to jump out.
Candied orange peel, lemons and grapefruits add a nice tang, with a zesty liveliness to the. They are joined by chocolate and candyfloss, adding a lovely saccharine sweetness.
The palate is spicier, with white pepper, cinnamon and star of anise coming out. These go perfectly with the citrus fruits and the chocolate. The spice is warming and gives the fruits a lovely edge.
Malted grains and oak wood add a depth to the dram, with a lovely elegant orchard note. These really allow the sweeter notes to develop and stop them from overwhelming the palate.
The finish is big and bold, with oranges and chocolate abounding.
This is a wonderful dram and the perfect addition to the Renaissance series. Be warned, if you get this, you will definitely be shelling out for the others!