This bottle came & went but did anyone reveal it's secret? Series ‘E’ highlights 'lost' casks from distilleries, not casks from lost distilleries. Apparently there are clues to the distilleries involved in this Trojan release on the label. The back label reads “Exile - on a quest to unearth the uncommon. One competitor's liquid in a competitor's cask. No one quite knows how that happened but hidden in the dark wooden walls”. Is this our first clue? Maybe it’s only a reference to a cask, any cask - or perhaps Glenfarclas’s tasting room? Named 'The Ship's Room’, their tasting room famously has wood panelled walls, fitting with the Trojan theme. Unsure I’ve hit the mark at all I continue to investigate further. I’ve also read there are other clues on both front and back label.
A code on the front label reads GGF031 [another nudge for Glenfarclas then], whilst the code on the back reads GGR081 - Glen Grant perhaps? The spirit does have that white fluffy bloomer quality at its core [a character that Glen Grant often presents so adeptly], whilst the [Glenfarclas] sherry cask gets to work in creating deeper dusty umami complexities. So Watson, I put it to you that here we have Glen Grant’s spirit ‘hidden’ inside the wooden walls of a cask from Glenfarclas. Surely then, the next question is ‘How did a Glenfarclas cask make it’s way over to Glen Grant. Given they are neighbours, maybe this is no biggie.
N: Wowee. I’m instantly engaged & transported by the squidgy-sweet pungent malty umami, sweet fungal, oily sweet-herbal flaxseed & spelt sponge with a strawberry>>gooseberry jam centre and fusty/yeasty onion-y/swede<banana bread. It’s grape-y/malty sweet - think bourbon=Scotch with a drop of Cognac. The generous full strength presentation allows the aromas to shine and yet it’s never overpowering.A week later: Sugar barley sweet, creamy [liquidised sweetened roasted onion]-vegetal-oaky sugars with a dusty, sweet fungal umami halo, ha! Golden syrup notes keep flooding in over delicious woody rice-paper savoury<sweet nutty/fusty confectionary ice-creams [rum n raisin in particular]. Cherry too - yep. Dreamy stuff and I haven’t even tasted it yet.
T: Incredibly soft & squidgy dry [neat], though a little water is recommended. There’s a joyous umami-esque, bitter/sweet bite straight off, leading swiftly to molasses/syrup and confectionary caramel-sweet roasted chestnuts<toasted malty peanut<nougat. And there are old [Triac] Cognac references, that Bakewell tart cherry note from the nose translating on the palate, a dead giveaway. So far sweet but now turning a little sour-bitter now as the wood kicks in. There’s plenty of travel in this old timer.
F: Whatever the spirit/cask recipe/combination is, when you meet its kind you know instantly it’s a winner. Dusty, leathery=brown paper-y raisins endure after plenty of grades of cocoa powdered milk chocolate confectionary and a squidgy-soft floury-oaky bitter-sweetness. I get lots of fresh bourbon traits at the core which may well suggest a young cask/s was/were used to help rejuvenate this old timer. There's a lengthy swan song that includes a grape-y=sappy<bourbon dryness alongside notes of green string candy, strawberry tutti-fruity and enduring sweet liquorice. The dusty old dried oak settles in at the death alongside mildly toasted malted barley grasses &>chalk with additional notes that include lardy cake and fish n chip paper. Lovely stuff though there’s no getting away from the rancid fungal oil note that coagulates latterly, albeit mingled with subtle dry fruity colour tones [tinctures/liqueurs etc], and a malty leathery coating.
C: A yummy Trojan combo well discovered & presented, one I’d happily to drink and drink on a regular basis. Once I’d identified the sappy bourbon [finishing cask?] action however, the game was up a little. It must be tricky deciding to committing to a particular rejuvenation cask program for unique/one-off casks.
Scores 88 points, though at times it was easily higher.