Advent Day 17: 1996 Glentauchers 18 y.o. (A.D. Rattray) Review

Secret Spirits Advent Calendar Day 17 – December 17th053

1996 Glentauchers 18 y.o. (A.D. Rattray)

Cask #1177 Sherry cask

56.1% abv

Score:  89.5/100


A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition.

Told ya we weren’t done with Glentauchers, didn’t I?

We had a malt from this distillery on day 13 of our advent journey.  That one was a knockout, so let’s dig in and see what we can suss out about why this one was chosen to represent Day 17.

Much more than just a variation on a theme here, this one is an entirely different beast.  Here we have a different independent bottler; sherry maturation instead of bourbon; cask strength as opposed to 46%; and a couple years younger than the first we tried.  That previous Wemyss Malts Glentauchers blew me away with a certain something (a quirky flavour nuance) I personally hunt for in whisky and rarely find.  This one, while it doesn’t have quite the same personal lure for me, is still another great dram.  Only a point or two behind the other, in my estimation.

What Secret Spirits have ultimately achieved here (by design, I’d argue) is a solid point of comparison between two whiskies produced in the same manner at the same distillery, but handled entirely differently from one another.  There’s a good moral in there somewhere about assumptions and not making blanket judgements (if you’re of the preachy sort).

I should also note that A.D. Rattray was the ideal bottler for this cask.  They tend to leave ’em big and bold, and allow the true character of the whisky to shine through.  What we end up with is a massive malt; oily and lingering, even though the spirit itself is quite soft and lovely.  Think of it this way:  Even Simon and Garfunkel can blow your speakers if you crank it up to ’11’.

Great after dinner dram.

Nose:  Soft and charming.  Great nose.  Orange and cinnamon.  Milk chocolate.  Millionaire’s shortbread.  Slight wine-y note, but very understated and entirely wonderful.  Fruit fudge.  Soft vanilla cream.

Palate:  Chocolate.  A little ginger and all spice.  Orange.  Lovely long evolution.  Maybe even a touch of melon.  Orange Dino-sour candies.  Unbelievably mouthwatering.  Like a lovely sweet baked bread.

Thoughts:  The nose just gets better and better the longer it opens.  Great fruity notes on both nose and palate.  Love this whisky.

Bonus:  My mate, Jonathan, and I are gonna blog on these drams side by side through the season.  Here’s a link to his notes on the same whisky at


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

2 thoughts on “Advent Day 17: 1996 Glentauchers 18 y.o. (A.D. Rattray) Review

  1. Travis

    We are trying a bottle from this exact same cask at our next tasting. Both the bottle and a tweet from the distillery are saying it was matured in 2nd Fill Bourbon Barrels but you are saying it was a Sherry cask. Do you know for sure if it was sherry? I’m just putting together info sheets for the tasting. The colour doesn’t look like sherry cask colour but that doesn’t mean a sherry cask wasn’t used…Thanks!


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