Bought: Whisky Auction, 24th May 2017
87/100 – Whisky Bible 2006
83.71/100 – Whiskybase (average from 9 member votes)
In 2015 a similar bottle of Glenturret 15yo sold at auction for £70, in 2016 for £50 and I got this old malt for £35 in 2017. At the same time the retail value of this bottle has been going up at a similar rate. This is because whisky shops tend to think that all whisky is increasing in value, which simply isn’t true, not if you follow the auction sites. If you want an old bottling of Glenturret then now is the time to buy at auction. If you’ve got an old bottle of this 15yo you’d like to sell then hold onto it because I have a feeling the auction price of this little beauty will bounce back.
When I say “beauty” I am of course referring to the taste not the packaging. In the 1990s Glenturret were going through a phase of asking a colour-blind hamster to design their boxes and labels. Dirty yellow and brown, really?! But what’s inside has gone down extremely well with 9 members of Whiskybase where nearly 84/100 is a fantastic score. One member concludes with “wonderfully balanced with a easygoing flavor palette.”
Although Jim Murray’s score of 87/100 in his Whisky Bible 2006 is a good bit after the 1990s this was a fairly consistent 15yo as it moved across the millennium. Mr Murray’s score classifies this dram as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. He says about the taste “highly intense malt that sweetens, mildly oily with a hint of oak” and summaries with “a discontinued bottling now: if you see it, it is worth the small investment”. And I couldn’t agree more!
Tasting notes provided on Whiskybase:
Nose: Flowery, sweet and pleasant.
Taste: Soft vanilla notes, light peppery and notes of fruit.
Finish: Pleasantly sharp and soothing.
Bought: Prize from Lady of the Glen, 16th November 2016
86/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)
When you search Whiskybase for Glenturret there are only 236 bottles listed, which isn’t that many. 84 are from the distillery so the majority are by independent bottlers such as ‘Lady of the Glen’. Glenlivet have 1203 bottles listed on Whiskybase, Glendiffich have 412 and Glenmorangie 350. Glenturret maybe considered more of a blending malt but 60 independent bottlers have managed to get casks and a mention on Whiskybase. Signatory have released the most with 61, Gordon & MacPhail have 22 and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) are third with 19.
Gregor Hannah started ‘Lady of the Glen’ in 2012. Unlike some independent bottlers you can buy directly from ‘Lady of the Glen’ on their website here. There’s usually 2 or 3 different bottlings available at any given time. As I post this blog there are still 6 bottles of the Glenturret 21yo left out of a small run of 198. It’s also currently available on The Whisky Barrel. Distilled in a bourbon cask in 1994, it was bottled in 2016 at a cask strength of 54.6%. Very typical of ‘Lady of the Glen’ it has no added colour and hasn’t been chill filtered.
Tasting notes from ‘Lady of the Glen’:
Nose: heavy toffee and yellow fruits of melon and mango peel
Palate: Honey suckle, herby and crisp with papaya and honey
Finish: Fresh and light with notes with grassy hay notes
Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 9th February 2016
76.5/100 – Whiskybase (average from 22 member votes)
Whether you’re a seasoned sipper or a dramming newbie, we all share a common bond – that first whisky experience. For me it’s the Glenturret smell that reminds me of my embryonic encounters with whisky, be it as single malt from my father’s sideboard or in the Famous Grouse blend. No matter how many distilleries I’ve tried, or however far from the centre of Scotland they hail from, it’s the smell of Glenturret that brings me ‘home’ to those formative moments that defined what whisky was to me.
I inherited a Glenturret 8-year-old from the 1990s and I’ve wanted to add the 12yo for many years. It isn’t the best whisky in the world, and the brown packaging is borderline grotesque but I love it for sentimental reasons. Scoring 76.5/100 on Whiskybase is a so-so score. Respected reviewer Mark Dermul says of the taste “ouch! On the palate, however, it is immediately unpleasant. Sweet and sour with the emphasis on sour, very sharp and alcoholic despite the low ABV. A bit of earth and lots of wood make it dry. The fruitiness (some apples and citrus) have trouble showing themselves. Finally I get something metallic as if the whisky was poured from a can. Could that be OBE [old bottle effect]? After all, this whisky has been sitting in the bottle for almost 20 years, which is longer than it spent in the cask.”
Thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom with one member remarking “a lovely dram as an aperitif. A shame that this one is no longer produced.” I agree but it still appears at auction for a reasonable £40-£60. Don’t all rush at once!
Bought: Whiskysite, Holland, 23th May 2015
77.71/100 – Whiskybase (average from 9 member votes)
4.75/5 – Master of Malt (average from 2 buyer ratings)
Back in May 2015 when I bought this bottle of Glenturret the average rating on Whiskybase was over 80/100. Dropping more than 2 points goes to show what one bad score can do when only 9 members have voted. A 66/100 in July dampened down this Glenturret from the heady heights of the 80s. One member’s 78/100 seems par for the course with a summary of “the finish is bad, the taste is not unpleasant but it’s flat. 40% is not enough for such a young peated distillate. The nose promised a little more. Not recommended! Go for the regular 10yo instead, which is a flawless, well made whisky.” Clearly this drinker’s opinion is that Glenturret should stick with what they know best and avoid experimenting with peat.
As usual it’s all about personal taste. If you like the idea of a good, reliable Highland distillery trying its hand at peat then you could be in for an enjoyable distraction with this Glenturret. Both purchasers on ‘Masters of Malt’ love this dram with comments of “this whisky is far too drinkable, you won’t be disappointed” and “exceptionally smooth. Fully rounded flavours. If you like peated whisky, don’t miss this one.”
This is certainly a contentious whisky but, if you like Glenturret like I do, this is one to track down if you can. It’s not easy to find in the UK, which is why I had to ship it over from Holland, where it’s still available.
Here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com with his review on You Tube (June 2015):
Bought: The Whisky Shop, 18th November 2014
79.48/100 – Whiskybase (average from 27 member votes)
Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is a great year for you!
Generally I like to have a rating for a whisky I post up on my blog. Sadly, none of my usual sources have assessed this single malt from Glenturret. It caught my eye when I was looking at The Whisky Shop website. Having got the 10yo, and Triple Wood, I was left with a choice between the ‘Sherry Edition’ and ‘Peated Edition’. Which one to get first? My sweet tooth got the better of me but I’d like to get the peated version eventually.
The Triple Wood, Sherry and Peated editions are supposedly exclusive to The Whisky Shop here in the UK, which might make them collectable but I doubt it. Saying that, I notice today that The Whisky Shop website no longer has the Sherry and Peated editions. Perhaps if the Whisky Bible rates my latest acquisition 99/100 in the 2016 publication I’ll be able to sell it for a fortune! 🙂
The label on the back of the bottle says “Glenturret’s Master of Whisky has hand selected the best sherry casks to create this rich Single Malt Whisky. Homemade syrup sponge meets the nose with a sweetness and warmth that invites you in. The taste is of puff candy layered with aromatic sandalwood and smooth, sweet spices.”
Sounds yummy! 😛
Here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com with his review on You Tube (June 2015):
Bought: The Famous Grouse Experience, 13th November 2014
95/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
90/100 – Whiskybase (average from 4 member votes)
There’s an interesting story behind this single malt, which may add more value to it in future years. The whisky was distilled in 1986 after the Commonwealth Games was last held in Scotland. 28 years later the Commonwealth Games returned to Scotland, so the whisky was bottled before the games, all ready to be sold to tourists visiting the event in Glasgow. My emboldening of “after” and “before” is significant because the law for whisky states that only the exact years spent distilling can be declared on the bottle. The whisky hadn’t reached its 28th birthday when it was bottled but went on sale saying “28-years-old” on the label. Ooops!
I’m not exactly sure of the sequence of events but it seems the whisky had to be recalled during some, if not all the days the games were running. A limited edition whisky that should have sold out, now had leftover stock, and was old news. That is until the Whisky Bible 2015 appeared in the autumn of 2014 and awarded this Glenturret “Best Single Malt aged between 22-27years from multiple casks”. The author, Jim Murray, said “every bit as rounded and chewy as the nose suggests” and concluded with “I honestly can’t remember the last time I experienced a Glenturret this good”.
I was alerted to the pedigree of this single malt when the Whisky Bible 2015 results were posted on a forum. Someone mentioned that the Famous Grouse Experience shop was offering a £30 discount so I joined the rush to secure a bottle. A great tasting malt but an obvious investment for the future. One to sell at auction the next time the Commonwealth Games are in Scotland.
At the time of posting the Glenturret can still be purchased at online retailers such as Robbie’s Drams, The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malts.
Bought – The Whisky Shop, 10th October 2014
80.45/100 – Whiskybase (average from 24 member votes)
When I think of the name ‘Glenturret’ I visualise a single turret of a ruined castle breaking through the highland mist, overlooking a loch, bearing the scars of previous battles dating back to the time of Robert the Bruce. You can tell that I’ve never visited the Glenturret distillery or my dream would be shattered. It’s nothing like that, unfortunately. As it is, Glenturret is the home of the Famous Grouse Experience, which must keep the place pretty busy. Founded in 1775, it has a strong claim to being Scotland’s oldest distillery. That always amuses me because it’s not like the whisky produced today dates back to the time the distillery was founded. And it’s not like the staffs’ experience dates back that far either. I know whisky is meant to be the water of life but I think it would be stretching it to have a stillman as old as Glenturret itself.
The Glenturret ‘Triple Wood’ is supposed to be exclusive to The Whisky Shop in the UK but it’s perfectly possible to purchase it abroad. The shop I’ve used in Holland has it in stock. Nevertheless, it’s nice to get something that’s not readily available everywhere. Glenturret appear to be branching out because I’m seeing more and more new offerings from the distillery, once famous for 1 or 2 releases and that was your lot. Everything else went into blended whisky. Thankfully they’ve seen sense because I’ve always liked the house style of Glenturret. I still have a small amount of the classic 8-year-old, and the 10-year-old is begging to be opened.
Here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com with his review on YouTube (Feb 2016):
Bought: Whisky Galore 5th August, 2014
76/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
88/100 – Ralfy, of http://www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – Glenturret 10yo – YouTube (July 2013)
Like the Deanston 12yo I last blogged about, there’s a similar disparity in marks between Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible and Ralfy. All Jim says about his 76/100 is “lots of trademark honey but some less than impressive contributions from both cask and the stillman”. If you then watch Ralfy’s video review you’d be forgiven for thinking he was talking about a different whisky altogether. He talks about how professionally it was made (perhaps they replaced the stillman for Ralfy’s bottle?!) and how fresh and complex it is. Also Ralfy mentions that he’s drunk 17yo whisky that tasted younger than this Glenturret 10yo.
Whoever’s view I have, all that truly matters is my own personal opinion once the stopper goes pop. My vintage Glenturret 8yo is running low so I needed to replace it and the 10yo was the obvious choice. It’s readily available here in the UK. Naturally I’m hoping I side with Ralfy’s view once I’ve tasted it. The only versions of Glenturret that Jim Murray marks in the 90s are by two independent bottlers in Germany. I managed to find a 5cl sample of one for about £10 but at £12 postage to the UK, it makes no sense ordering it. Certainly not if the 10yo is as good as Ralfy says.
Another gift. Could well be over 10+ years old. Another one with “please finish me!” written all over it.
88/100 – Whisky Bible 2013