[July, 2018] Glenturret is a hard to judge distillery - on one hand side it is nicely situated with even nicer staff to show you around but on the other (more important) side its malt is far from being easy (I would say it is rather difficult). I had just one really good Glenturret so far but from time to time I am in the mood to try another one simply to check this strange malt profile. Obviously Springbank did a cask swap with Glenturret back in 1987 that is why Cadenhead is able to offer 1987 bottlings on a regular basis. So I do a head-to-head of this 28-years old versus the latest release of a 29-years old from last year (WB id 101620).
Boah, these are strange Glenturret beasts that are not recommended if you just quaff your dram to enjoy it. But if you are interested in unusual and (very) strange aromas and flavours profiles this is a must try (but go for a sample, not for a full bottle unless you are sure you will like it).
PS: The more you sip of this dram the more your taste adapt to this strange profile and it is not disgusting at all. After the third dram I do like it, finally (and now I would score it 86 or 87 points - isn't this strange?). Several month later I would even go for a solid 88 (December, 2018) - that is what I call weird...
[July, 2020] I re-tasted this dram tonight and fully confirm my first review - a strange but very interesting dram to explore. Weird old-style stuff...
The 28y is one shade paler at pale straw than the 29y that is pale gold. The texture of the 29y shows a minor ring without tears at all while the 28y builds some shy tears at last (both own a very light oiliness so I do not expect a great mouthfeel or long finish). The nose of the 29y is a typical strange Glenturret one with tons of unbaked sourdough bread beside the grassy and slightly cheesy aromas. There are some beer aromas too (english lager, not pilsner). The 28y offers an even stranger nose with many non-natural (rather industrial) aromas that remind me of an old half-demolished distillery building (dry grass, rust, concrete, crumbling plaster). It is not to my liking but interesting, for sure. Actually I like the 28y better (out of curiosity) than the rather uninteresting nose of the 29y.
The 28y offers a very strange profile again that is hard to describe but fascinating as you will not find this in another whisky (most probably). It is neither easy-to-drink nor enjoyable but it is an experience, for sure. Some might call this flawed - I would say it is Glenturret, period. The taste of the 29y is extreme too but not as "Glenturretish flawed" like the 28y so it is more approachable. Still not really enjoyable but interesting again. Here I prefer the 29y. Water adds to both drams a strong chalky note that you either like or not and it turns the drams smoother, sweeter (marzipan, chocolate, vanilla) and hence easier to drink. So I suggest to explore the whiskies neat first and then add a fair share of water to sip what is left.
The 29y arrives warming but not coating in the mouth with a major drying-bitter-astringent feeling. The 28y is warming without any coating effect too but without this distracting bitter-astringent side. Both are not favoured by my taste buds and again I would prefer the 28y over the 29y (if I am beaten to choose one). Both own a rather short finish (as indicated by the light oiliness) with some bitter-astringent moments of the 29y and some more strange flavours of the 28y and just a minor dryness at the end. For curiosity I like the 28y better on this dimension.