Adelphi Glen Garioch 11yo Cask #2366 & Adelphi Clynelish 12yo Cask #800305


We're looking at a couple of bottlings from Adelphi's recent 30th anniversary release.

Adelphi Glen Garioch 11yo Cask #2366

Region: Highlands

ABV: 59.3%

Price: £72.00

This release was distilled in 2011, and has spent 11 years maturing in a first fill bourbon cask. It was bottled by Adelphi, in an outturn of 211 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with tropical fruits, pineapple, a little banana, buttered white bread, melon and whipped vanilla cream. We’re getting some breakfast cereal notes coming through too, frosties, and a handful of cornflakes. It’s quite dusty, not in an old furniture way, but like we’re in a carpenters workshop surrounded by sawdust. Time and air brings out more lemon peel, white sugar and shortbread.

Palate

The palate opens with a burst of freshly squeezed citrus, moving quickly into richer flavours of caramel wafers, chocolate coated foam bananas and rum and raisin ice cream. It has a decent mouthfeel, creamy vanilla custard, and the finish is medium length with some light esters and candy floss. Going back, we’re finding that some more tropical fruits appear, pineapple, passionfruit and some tangerine too, although there’s some dry oak that starts to develop on the latter palate, similar to a reduced sugar, rich chocolate and hazelnut spread.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has a lot more banana upfront, more akin to banana bread. There’s a waxiness that’s developed now, but it brings with it a slightly new-make spirit aroma. There’s also some buttered popcorn and lemon zest. We prefer the unreduced nose, water feels like it’s brought out a younger side of the dram.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate loses a bit of the texture we enjoyed before, but bursts open with starburst candied, vanilla ice cream and stroopwaffles. It’s a fair bit sweeter now, more zesty with less of the richer, woodier flavours we experienced before. We enjoy the palate with a few drops of water, although it doesn’t necessarily need it.

Conclusion

A perfectly pleasant Glen Garioch that we’ve enjoyed but it hasn’t really blown us away. It feels a little restrained, we were expecting more of an oomph. It’s still a perfectly good dram and one we’d happily sip again.

Score: 7/10

Value

Adelphi can be a little pricey for some of there releases, but it’s hard to complain about the price tag on this one.


Adelphi Clynelish 12yo Cask #800305

Region: Highlands

ABV: 58.3%

Price: £110.00

This release was distilled in 2011, and has spent 12 years maturing in a first fill bourbon barrel. It was bottled by Adelphi, in an outturn of 208 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with orchard fruits, lots of fresh red apples and juicy pears. Behind this sits pineapple, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a slight mustiness and vanilla essence. It’s a really powerful nose, well balanced alcohol with aromas just bursting from the glass. Time and air brings out a slight coastal salinity, wet pebbles and a crisp Chardonnay. There’s also something slightly spritzy in the background, like lemonade or appetiser.

Palate

The palate follows through from the nose, with a fruit salad, apples, pears, lemon, passionfruit and a little mango in the background. It’s zingy and sweet, very well balanced with a bit of black pepper spice as the palate develops. There’s also lots of vanilla fondant, custard tarts and orange peel. The mouthfeel has a good, creamy texture, and the finish lasts for a good while, bringing some sweet oak, clove and nutmeg flavours to the dram.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose loses some of the upfront fruit, it’s more of a citrus burst going into vanilla sponge, orange peel and stale shortbread. There’s still some tropical fruit sitting far in the background. We’re also finding a touch of gravel too.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate loses some of the creamy mouthfeel we previously experienced, and feels sharper overall with zingy lemon, lime and orange. We’re getting a biscuit-y, shortbread flavour now, with a bit of dried citrus peel on top. It’s not too different from the unreduced palate.

Conclusion

This is a dram that slaps you around with intense aroma and flavour, and we’re here for it. A really good example of a 12yo bourbon cask whisky that’s combines a great base spirit with a great cask to produce something better than the sum of its parts. It’s not as waxy as we’d usually expect for Clynelish, however it’s delicious.

Score: 8/10

Value

Definitely more than we’d want to pay for a 12yo release. However, given the gradual increase in prices for the distillery's independent bottling releases, we surmise that the cost of acquiring casks is also rising.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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