My Glen Garioch experience level is not high. I’ve had maybe 5-10, but apparently the early 90s were great years. Glen Garioch was always a peated highlander, becoming less so throughout the years. In 1995 it was mothballed by Owner Suntory then transferred to subsidiary Morrison-Bowmore who saved the aforementioned distillery, but when it started back up again in 1997 they produced unpeated malt. So I’m always keen to try pre 1995 distillate.
Back in 2007 when Dewar Rattray bottles were flooding the local market in their monotonous, dull packaging, they were expensive. Even if they weren’t expensive, there was a sea of choices at that price point. IB’s, OB’s, dead distilleries... I bet anything 21 years and under was less than $300 (Canadian). It’s easy to see why they didn’t sell. Fast forward a decade of incredible growth in the industry and now these boring old Rattray’s have gained a noticeable layer of dust on the lid. The amount of bottles released in 2019 on the shelf that are $300+ is astounding. Especially when you consider in some cases what is really in the bottle. Now 12 years later people don’t want to take a gamble on an unknown Rattray that everyone assumes is there for a reason. This is where I come in; a belated Dewar Rattray unofficial ambassador of sorts. Now you can’t be naive in the dusty game, there are definitely turds out there, so it always comes down to a risk/reward situation. You could also argue that I’m really not that smart, and you would probably be justified to think so, but I get great enjoyment out of it. I digress...
Thoughts: 89/100 If the nose was a little more cohesive it could have been scratching 90. Maybe it will develop with some air in the bottle, since it’s still newly opened, but a promising start! You would not be against this if you like bourbon matured Clynelish. An eccentric malt that’s right up my alley. Quite like this one, bordering 2 bottle territory.
Edit: up a point, getting better with air time.
Nose: (87) A fairly present alcohol note, grass, plaster/putty, acrylic, something that faintly reminds me of a workshop rag (the combination of grease, dirt, cloth) honeycomb, parafin, vanilla, cardamom, turbinado sugar, pecans.
Palate: (90) Buttery mouthfeel, waxy, salted Caramel, putty, lacquer, wool, salty - sea salts. Really nice and you could be forgiven for guessing Clynelish blind.
Finish: (89) Butterscotch, latex paint, salted walnuts, wispy smoke, slightly chalky, mouthcoating and fairly long finish.