Category Archives: Glentauchers

Glentauchers 1994-2013 (Gordon & MacPhail)

Bought: Auriol Wines, 29th February 2016

Ratings:
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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Glentauchers 1996 18-year-old

Bought: Bartels Whisky, 8th December 2015

Ratings:
84/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)

Bartels Whisky tempted me yet again with another great offer on this Glentauchers 18yo, reduced to £40 in a pre-Christmas sale. This independent bottler has a habit of doing that, and a cask-strength, age statement bottle for 40 notes is hard to beat these days. If this is something that interests you then you can follow updates on Bartels’ Facebook page here.

I must admit that Glentauchers is one of those Speyside distilleries I tend to forget about. It’s like the member of a boy band, the one on the left, with the hair and the teeth that did a bit of dancing and backing vocals. You remember him don’t you? In my book about distilleries, the section under ‘Points of Special Interest’ for Glentauchers mentions the co-founder, James Buchanan, created a blend that he later registered as the ‘Black and White’ brand. That’s about as fascinating as it gets.

It’s just as well we’re drinking whisky not history and it’s in the glass that Glentauchers becomes memorable. The Whisky Bible 2016 lists 16 different bottlings with 8, exactly half, scoring over 90/100. The house style is light-bodied, fruity, fragrant, nutty, floral and malt. The casks are ex-bourbon and the malt is unpeated. Any time I spy ‘fruit’ and ‘nut’ in the tasting notes it gets me reaching for some dark chocolate to accompany the whisky. Having only spent £40 I think I can afford a couple of bars!

Tasting notes left on Whiskybase:

Nose: Fresh, summery nose on young apples, vanilla, freshly cut grass, mint and lemon. Some breakfast cereals. Yes, Kellogg’s original corn flakes! The second whiff adds some unripe banana.
Taste: The body might have been a bit bigger, but it tastes nice. Fruity (more of the same) and feisty. Think pepper, ginger and a pinch of cinnamon.
Finish: Medium long finish on apple, vanilla and pepper.

Here’s ‘The Good Dram Show’ on You Tube with their review of this Glentauchers, the first of a series of 6 single malts from Bartels Whisky (Sept 2015):

Glentauchers 1996 18yo 70cl

Glentauchers 2006 (Carn Mor 3-year-old)

Bought – Single Malts Direct, 3rd October 2013

Ratings:
76/100 – Whiskybase (average from 3 member votes)

This Glentauchers is part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2009, at 3 years old whisky doesn’t come younger than this! It’s from a limited edition of 921, Cask No: 9. Non-chill filtered,  no added colour and 46%.

76/100 on Whiskybase is a good-to-average rating. One of the votes, Willie JJ, scores it 81/100 and leaves the following tasting notes:

Nose: Summer fruit pie and custard, gooseberries, pot ale and bran. Very youthful but clearly very well made spirit.
Taste: Custard tart and cream, tinned peaches, icing sugar. Sweet and quite delicious.
Finish: Long, creamy and sweet with the custard theme continuing.
Comments: An astonishing 3 year old. A really good example of the quality of this obscure distillery.

Glentauchers 2006 Carn Mor 20cl