Whiskey Review: Glen Garioch 8 Year

Glen Garioch 8 Year OldEditor’s Note: The Whiskey Wash welcomes this latest review from the Whiskey Noobs review team.

Glen Garioch (pronounced “Glen Geery”) is the oldest working distillery in Scotland. It was built in 1797 in Oldmeldrum as Glengarioch. Curiously, Oldmeldrum was formerly named Old Meldrum. So while the town became one word the distillery became two. Oldmeldrum, located in the Valley of the Garioch was known as the Granary of Aberdeenshire, due to it’s fine barley.

Founded as a brewery, distillery, and tannery by brothers John and Alexander Manson the distillery, like so many others went through many hands during it’s history. John’s son, Patrick, went on to become known as the father of tropical medicine known as Mosquito Manson. While he didn’t advance the making of scotch, he did advance science to prove that disease could be transmitted by insects.

Glen Garioch stopped operating for a while in the late 1960’s due to a water shortage but began operation again in 1972 when the new manager found a water source on a neighboring farm. The “Silent Spring of Coutens Farm ” was named such because it could neither be seen nor heard. The distillery closed again after making Vintage 1995, it’s last using a peated barley source. Glen Garioch reopened in 1997, now producing unpeated scotch.

The Glen Garioch 8 was the first official release since it’s reopening and can still be found if you look hard enough. It’s been replaced by a more mature 12 year old. If you come across this gem in a store, it is worth picking up as it is becoming more rare each year and you will not find a better 8 year old scotch. It’s not until you pick up something like this that you can really understand what a young scotch is all about. The nose alone jumps with unbridled youthful energy. It’s a great scotch to sip on a nice spring evening

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Color: Golden

Nose: Cut grass, flowery, peaty, & buttery

Palate: Slight honey, table salt, very simple

Finish: Short, slightly sweet (heathery)

w/ Water: Palate is sweeter (honey) but still rather plain and oaky. Finish short & mildly heathery.

SCORE: 7.5


Color: Gold

Nose: Very floral. It’s like they bottled the freshly cut field of grass and heather.

Palate: It begins slightly crisp and sweet honey-heather with a hint of saltiness then heads over to fresh maltiness and a little touch of spice and smoke to round things out.

Finish: Short and musty sweet. When it ends there is an ever so faint echo of dark chocolate.

w/ Water: Nose is more heather than floral. Palate is sweet, more musty/chocolatey and more woodsy.

SCORE: 81 / 78 with water.

Should you want a bottle of the Glen Garioch 8 Year Old, here is a list of online liquor retailers still carrying it.