Glengoyne 15 “Highland Fling”

Glengoyne might not have crossed your radar, yet they’ve managed to amass a steady following in the last few years. This former Edrington property was developed into a successful single malt brand by new owners Ian Mcleod, they banked on the beauty of the site as a tourist destination but also the sherry heavy maturation profile that former owner’s we’re know for.

They have quite a nice range of products most are age stated and thus far have managed to remain within reach of the average consumer.

This release is said to be composed of 50% ex-bourbon casks, 30% 1st fill American oak ex-sherry cask & 20% 1st fill European oak ex-sherry casks.

Enjoy this photo of the store where I tasted this whisky as I sadly forgot to take a photo of the bottle.

Nose: Funky sherry, dunnage notes, a bit of mustiness mixed with sweetness. Dried fruit cake wrapped in wax paper, there’s some sulfur in the form more of spent match but it is light. Vanilla, some yeasty notes, the oak brings a bit of spice, a touch of ginger and mace.

With time it becomes really waxy, with apples and chicory coffee notes.

Palate: Nice round entry, cake batter, malty, spicy gingery oak, a touch of autumn leaves, sultanas, toffee, a latte with too much milk, a bit of toasted almonds. The mouth feel is a little thin.

Finish: A bit of marzipan, grassy, green sap. crystallized fruits, a touch of pineapple. Whole wheat bread. Slight cured ham funk, a touch of meat.

Blab: It’s a good whisky, it offers some of the more potent sherry notes you find in more expensive or older whisky, yet still has zip on the palate. A good solid performer except for the texture and finish where the lower proof 43% might make it lose a bit of power. I have tasted most of the range barring the 25 yr old and I prefer the 15 I think it captures the best of what the distillery has to offer, the 21 is solid too. No surprise in today’s whisky world I believe this expression is going to be removed from the line-up.

Glengoyne 15

43% ABV

86/100

Maker’s Mark Private Select “Meet Your Maker Part III”

Last part of this Maker’s trio.

If we believe the marketing, while attempting to find the perfect formula for Maker’s 46 the distillery went through all kinds of permutations of oak types, char & toast levels before settling on the one that worked for them.

They decided to bring the same spirit of experimentation to their private barrel purchase program, where clients are able to choose a few options for the 10 staves that will be added to their barrel of Maker’s. One is a Maker’s 46 stave, the other nine are chosen from the following types: Baked American Pure 2, Seared French Cuvee, Roasted French Mocha and Toasted French Spice.

Photo credit Sara Havens

What’s interesting about this process is that it allows a level of customization that is personal to the client’s taste but that you’re also unlikely to see exactly the same exact profile when buying different store picks as well.

This one is a store pick by the Liquor Locker in Hagerstown MD. I unfortunately do not have the details of the stave selections.

Nose: It starts with a bit of varnished oak, pepper, mocha/cafe au lait, cinnamon red hots and a touch of chili peppers. With time I get ginger, chewy toffee, lightly toasted bread. Coconut cakes with candied cherry. Orange zest & a touch of bacon fat or is that barrel char perhaps?

Palate: Sharp and full, candied fruit, cinnamon candy, cloves, green pepper, menthol,candied peanuts, buttered raisin toast with cinnamon. _There’s a lot happening with this one on the palate, all great flavours but it can be a bit relentless.

Finish: A bit of leather, green oak, ginger and pepper, and those toasted peanuts with Sichuan peppercorns

The blab: You can feel the oak pulling tannins over your teeth at first but somehow that’s not the most dominant note like in some bourbons. There’s an oily, waxy character that is pleasant, a solid bourbon with some interesting twists.

Much thanks to @paddockjudge for the samples, this trio was a great lesson.

Maker’s Mark Private Select – Liquor Locker, Hagerstown MD

55.7% ABV

88/100

Maker’s 46 “Meet Your Maker Part II”

Ok round two in this Maker’s Mark match-up.

Maker’s 46 was released sometime around 2010, it has the distinction of being the second products to be released by the distillery since it’s inception. It uses the same mash bill as standard Maker’s 70% Corn, 16% Wheat, 14% Malted Barley but the whisky is put back into barrels that contain seared french oak staves and re-racked for an additional period (the exact amount of time is unclear). This is a fairly unique process not unlike what Compass Box initially did with it’s Spice Tree blend. I am surprised more distilleries are not doing this, unless they are and aren’t mentioning it. I know MGP offer’s something similar to it’s contract distilling clients.

Nose: Chestnut purée, ginger, green oak, a bit of tobacco and menthol, it’s all very discreet. It’s as if these notes are a kind of film on top of the usual sweet caramel and oak of a bourbon nose. It then gets Peppery, freshly stained wood, sugar glazed cereal and cherry ice cream. It needs lots of air, but it’s very rich

Palate: Sweet soft oak at first, fresh bread. A feeling of glycerin, wine gums, caramel corn, Turkish delight & lime. It’s got a peppery astringency and a ginger zing, it’s fairly oily and smooth for the ABV.

Finish: Medium length you’re left with with over brewed black tea and milk, lemon pith and a bit of cherry cola and ginger.

The Blab: The nose took forever to come out, initially it felt like two layers but became more homogeneous with air. The finishing does add richness especially on the palate, it’s a neat formula and one I believe that is quite successful for the company.

Maker’s 46

47% ABV

84/100