Glenrurret is one of those whiskies I’ve never really been arsed with. It never loomed large in my landscape of scotch and, like many, there’s probably a good reason for that, it’s historically been more of a colour in the blenders toolbox than a single malt in its own right. Edrington used it to plump up the feathers of a relatively well known bird and any single releases were never promoted in a way that it would ever become king of the castle. Now though, it’s been sold to Lalique as they diversify from posh vases and plates into other luxury goods and they’ve got ideas on making the brand sparkle with a hefty cash injection and more interestingly, getting a team of serious whisky bods onboard to deliver the goods. Ex Macallan Bib Delgado, the guy responsible for the Edition range being one such name. Now I’m interested.
Looks wise, it’s a funny looking thing. It’s individual and original which is good but the design feels oddly incongruous and at odds with its market. The branding too, looks nice but strangely underpowered. It feels out of time and place but it does feel solid and heavy and has some serious heft. If it fails as a whisky it will be a realisable door stop or failing that landing chocks for your old DC10.
Dubious packaging aside it’s the liquid that ultimately matters. Off we go.
On the nose and it’s instantly very alluring. Right away it’s fruity and juicy and woody. Orange juice springs to mind with honey and light sherry and nuts. Warm spices and ginger mingle with balsamic vinegars, pineapple, some horseradish?? There’s raisins too but not heavy, like smelling a few raisins in a warm hand rather than opening a big bag of them from the kitchen and sticking your nose in. Some black tea cooling in a tea cup. It’s got a great little nose. It’s a little savoury. Yummy.
In the mouth and it’s a strange one, it’s at the same time both light AND rich? The arrival is sweet and light and then it the viscosity arrived around the side of the tongue and it gently coats everything in a woody spice blanket. Creamy chocolate, almost no heat for its 46%, orange oil and some crystallised Angelica? And nuts, nice nuttiness and pineapple (very nice) and some more of that black tea, slightly sweetened this time. God almighty it goes down easy. It’s got that (I’m going to say it) Macallan thing going on, no sulphur though, but graceful sherry and woods and spice and balance. It’s a difficult trick to do, not because it’s technically hard but because it means the whisky doesn’t play with any extremes, which people tend to like. It’s just really well balanced. And this gentle balance makes you want another sip, and another, just to tease out more of the finer details. It’s really extremely toothsome as whiskies go. If there a complaint it’s that the finish could be bigger, it lacks a greater depth that would make it great, but it’s a small quibble in an otherwise pretty picture.
Is it any good? Yup. 100%. Not only is it any good it also feels like a peak behind the curtain at what Glenturret might become. Things could be getting rather interesting with the stuff in granny’s vase, one to keep an eye on, especially if they drop the price by £10.
EDIT: One thing that did peev me was the finishing on the packaging (anyone else?). Of the 4 bottles I bought from the maiden release, ALL of them had a big wrinkle in the middle of the label across the bottle. Not the best QA in the business - room for improvement!
Further to having a chat with their global brand ambassador - turns out this was an issue on all bottles caused by the material and the print and the finishing machines - these things happen it seems!