Advent Day 20: 1996 Glentauchers 17 y.o. (Samaroli) Review

Secret Spirits Advent Calendar Day 20 – December 20th067

1996 Glentauchers 17 y.o. (Samaroli)

Cask #4232/4233 American Oak

45% abv

Score:  91/100


A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition.

Alright.  Looks like each of the Advent’s contributing indies gets a shot at knocking out a Glentauchers for us.   We started with Wemyss on Day 13…hit A.D. Rattray a few days later on Day 17…and now here we are on Day 20 letting Samaroli have their day in the sun (snow?).  As a whisky geek, I love this opportunity to try a rather rare distillery in three different incarnations.  As a casual whisky drinker, I’d probably hope for a little more variety.

But the simple reality is that this is another exceptional version.  All three of these malts have been ~90 pointers (in my ‘umble opinion), and great examples of good clean casking at great stages of maturity.  So, let’s spin this another way.  Irrespective of how many ‘Tauchers we’ve tried here, if they’re all this good, I’d happily have a calendar chock full of ’em.  Good whisky is good whisky.

This 17 year old is a marriage of two consecutive single casks.  45% is respectable, but I shudder to think what could have been at cask strength.

Nose:  Dusty and old book-ish.  Maybe a touch of cherry in soft dough.  Some mandarin orange as it finally begins to open up.  A mix of marmalade and berry jams.  Soft cinnamon and sugar cookies.  Like opening an old wardrobe or chest.

Palate:  Tastes a decade older than its years.  Love this palate.  Wax and cask char.  Burnt orange peel.  And just plain ol’ mandarin orange again.  Very soft spices.  Also tastes bigger than 45%.  A beautiful tang carried by the oiliness.

Thoughts:  Takes a long time to open up.  Sooooo absolutely worth the effort though. One of the best of the calendar so far.  brilliant balance betwwen nose and palate.  Spectacular whisky, all told.

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

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