[WHISKY REVIEW #46] A Bold And Affordable Highlander 🥃

in #whisky2 years ago (edited)

I thought I'd try another bottle from this little (in comparison with the surrounding ones) distillery just east of Speyside in the Highland region. When I read "Founders Reserve" (or Major's reserve as on Glen Grant) on a bottle, I usually get a little hesitant due to not so pleasant past experiences. It's often cheap and very young whisky best used for drink mixing. But since we're talking about a true artisan distillery that I've been impressed by many times, I thought that I'd dip my taste buds and see what's going on. The fact that it's bottled at 48% is another promising signal.

With more than 200 years of history, the Glen Garioch distillery is one of the oldest whisky producers, not only in the Scottish Highlands, but in all of Scotland. It also happens to be Scotland's easternmost distillery and you can read more about its history in my review of the 12-year-old.

Glen Garioch - Founder's Reserve

ABV: 48%
Age: NAS (No Age Statement)
Distillery: Glen Garioch
Region: Highland
Cask type: Bourbon & Sherry Casks
Price: ~48 USD  / 1L
Colored with E150 (why??) & non-chill filtered

Appearance: Golden.

Nose: Vanilla, honey and quite some wood after a few minutes aeration.

Palate: Wow, this is a good one. Initially we have ginger, sour green apples, grapefruit, salty-sweet butterscotch and honeyd malt, followed by essential oil aromas such as camphor and menthol. There's a hint of chili and pepper as well. Even if it's fruity and sweet I wouldn't call it accessible. The remnants of smoke in the background plays beautifully with the fruit. I'd say this one is somewhere between 8 and 11 years.

Finish: Quite grassy and dry on the tongue. The oak lingers for a surprisingly long time. A hint of bitterness at the back of my mouth.

Conclusion: A seriously impressive effort. A bold, brave and characterful NAS whisky. Sensibly priced at about $46-48 for 1 liter makes the case even stronger. The only objection I have is adding E150 to such a fine product. However, craftsmanship such as this should be rewarded and supported. 86 confident points out of 100.


If you have any whisky related questions don't be afraid of asking! I'll do my best to answer them. Cheers, or as they say in Scotland: Sláinte!

You can find my other whisky reviews here:

Springbank 12-year-old, Cask Strength
Bunnahabhain 14-year-old - Warehouse 9 -  Oloroso
Glen Garioch 12
Tomatin Cask Strength
Kilkerran 12
Aberlour A'bunadh, Batch 57
Bunnahabhain - Warehouse 9 - Manzanilla cask
Springbank 15
Glendronach Peated
Glenmorangie Bacalta
Talisker 10
Kilkerran WIP 6 (Sherry)
Amrut Fusion
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Arran - The Bothy
Stronachie 18
Lagavulin 16
Highland Park 12
Arran 10
Arran Sauternes Cask Finish
Glenlivet Nàdurra
Laphroaig 15 (200th Anniversary Edition)
Highland Park 15
Bowmore 12
Springbank 10
Ardbeg TEN
The Macallan Amber
Glenmorangie 10
Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhòna
Linkwood 21 yo, Signatory
Bowmore Black Rock
Glenfarclas, Christmas Edition, 1995
Old Pulteney 21
Glenfiddich 12
Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique, 2016
Caol Ila 12 yo
Linkwood 26 yo
Glenfarclas 105
Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or
Glenlivet 18 yo
Talisker 18 yo
anCnoc Rascan
Glenfarclas 17 yo
Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1
Octomore 5.1 & 6.2


You are the alexandrian library of whisky reviews. Well done once again, tempted to dip my feet into this field ... while I try to convince myself not to ... I am more of a Cognac man myself. Cheers Steemswede :_)

Well, I have a few things to learn about cognac! Have only tasted a few Georgian (brandies) and one or two French. What I have noticed is that all cognacs I have seen have been bottled at 40% - is there any producer that bottle cognac above 46 or even at cask strength? Thanks for the support!

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