Today we're looking at two independently bottled releases from Glenturret, Scotland's oldest working distillery.
Glenturret Infrequent Flyers Marsala Cask 10yo Cask #6358
This peated single malt was distilled at Glenturret in 2010, matured for a decade, and finished in a Marsala wine cask. A total of 215 bottles were drawn from the cask.
We’re getting sour plums, iodine, roasted cereal notes along with a deep vegetal peatiness. There’s a fair bit of funk here, maybe a little blue cheese but with a honeyed sweetness in the background. Going back to it we’re really focusing in on the “roasted” flavours.. a little charred meat and over-toasted hazelnuts. The alcohol is fairly present on the nose but is mellowed by some brown sugar.
We’re getting a peanut brittle flavour initially, quickly followed ripe red berries just out of a smoker. There’s an earthy muddiness that’s present, leaving a little bitterness but it’s counterbalanced with maple syrup. We’re getting thyme, a little rubber and maybe even some cough medicine. The alcohol is fiery here, not with spice but with a rough oakiness and warmth as you swallow… Maybe a little too out of balance for us. The finish is warming with smoked cherries and a little white pepper.
Nose (with water)
Lots more meat appearing with the addition of water, we’re getting Chinese spare ribs, honey glazed ham and a some smoked brisket with a South Carolina vinegar based BBQ sauce. With some air we’re taken to the forest on a wet autumn morning, with the aromas of campfire embers that have just been put out by the rain. There’s a saltiness that’s now appeared, and along with the vinegar we’re getting the sensation of putting our nose into a freshly opened bag of salt and vinegar crisps.
Palate (with water)
Water has brought out an aniseed sort of flavour, and more of those Chinese BBQ tastes continue on. There’s still a good amount of that vegetal peat showing, but it’s a little lighter and there’s more sugar coming through - maybe even meringue? We’re getting a little more peppery spice from the alcohol that dances on our tongue, but overall the alcohol is a little more in check with water. We’re still getting the fruit and smoke on the finish which retains its length.
Smokey, meaty and earthy with maybe a little too much alcohol. The nose is a little astringent (although some may like that) but has some nice deep, rich aromas. The palate is a little hot, but has lots of flavour going on and is one that changes over time allowing you to go back again and again to experience something slightly different. We’re not super familiar with marsala finished whiskies but we’d like to explore more after trying this.
Northstar Spirits Glenturret 2010 8 Year Old
This release was matured for 8 years in a refill bourbon hogsheads before being bottled as part of North Star Spirits 8th release.
There’s an initial hit of new make, followed by beef crisps, and seawater. Giving this air and there’s wet leaves, scampi, and some boiled peanuts. Quite a shock to the system if you’re not expecting those combination of flavours.
Palate has some slight vegetal notes and hints of peat, but it’s the oiliness that’s coating our mouth that really stands out. Some bitter chocolate and burnt cereals balance out the palate. This is really hot, and lingers, but not in an unpleasant way.
Nose (with water)
With water there’s more pronounced forest floor notes, and it’s become very salty. There’s also a note of smokey earth that’s like the remnants of a campfire similar to what we got on today’s other Glenturret.
Palate (with water)
On the reduced palate the sweetness really comes out, with light citrus notes that compliment the smoke nicely. The palate has also gained some interesting spring onion flavours too.
Sometimes a whisky will surprise you, and sometimes a whisky will taste exactly as you think it will (based on the cask, distillery and age). This is one of the latter times where it tastes pretty much like an 8 year old bourbon Glenturret - not bad but nothing that really blows us away.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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