Glentauchers 1994-2013 (Gordon & MacPhail)

Bought: Auriol Wines, 29th February 2016

96.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
89.29/100 – Whiskybase (average from 9 member votes)

Wow, look at those ratings! This Glentauchers must be one of the most famous whiskies in the world! Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible and 9 members of Whiskybase score it higher than the Highland Park 18yo, most of the Ardbeg Supernova releases and even the Macallan 18yo (the ‘Rolls Royce’ of Speysiders). Surely everyone knows about this stuff! And the answer is….no. Even a lot of whisky drinkers aren’t aware of Glentauchers, which sounds more like a sneeze than a whisky distillery. The distillery isn’t exactly known for producing single malt as a lot of its output goes into blending but occasionally an independent bottler such as Gordon & MacPhail (G&M) get lucky and purchase a cask or two that are something special. This seems to be the case with this Glentauchers 1994-2013.

When this Glentauchers 19yo (possibly 18yo) first came out it was £29, which is astounding when you consider the price of the equivalent Macallan and Highland Park 18-year-olds (even if they are distillery releases). Jim Murray first mentions this Glentauchers in his Whisky Bible 2014 where he says of the taste “oh my word! The barley melts on the palate, yet at the same time has enough firmness to crash land into the taste buds…but with the aid of a parachute. Hard to imagine a barley where the flavours are so pronounced, the use of muscovado sugars so well judged.” He concludes with “one day someone else who matters in the industry will wake up to just how good this malt is…probably the finest of the G&M Distillery Label fleet.”

Comments on Whiskybase are also complimentary including “this is very fine whisky. The clarity of the malt is astonishing in a whisky of this age”, “beautiful ‘whisky’ classic flavour emerges with patience, fresh and subtle complexity”, “elegant Speyside malt” and “I can see why J Murray awarded this a gold star. Displaying wonderful balance, nothing is ever too overstated or underplayed. As Speyside malts go, this is a mature 19yo cracker.”

In March 2016 I tried the slightly older 1994-2014 version in a whisky bar and was very impressed. That c.20yo scores a respectable 85.5/100 on Whiskybase so not as illustrious as its younger brother but it gave me an idea as to what to expect. Although I wasn’t lucky enough to pay £29 for my bottle it was still less than £40 even in 2016, which is amazing consider how crazy the whisky market has gone in recent years. If you’re lucky enough to stumble across a bottle – buy it!

Glentauchers 1994-2013 NAS 70cl

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