Category Archives: Glen Garioch

Glen Garioch 21 y.o. Review

Glen Garioch 21 y.o.050

43% abv

Score:  85.5/100


Spectacularly unspectacular.  Hate to say it, but absolutely true.

Shame on me…I went into this one with rather elevated expectations.  We should all know by this point not to do this.  Malts should always be approached with the ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ type of mindset.  Especially when buying older/pricier drams.  How truly disappointing to find a whisky that should be at it’s zenith (that magic fulcrum between old enough and young enough), and simply…well…isn’t.

Glen Garioch is sort of a ‘middle-of-the-road’-er in Suntory’s stables.  It’s a Highlands malt which, in it’s infancy, is fairly average.  And as it gets older is…uh…still fairly average.  Generally a rather sweet, spicy, caramel-rich and apple-y malt, Glen Garioch offers little in the way of surprises.  I was kinda hoping this 21 year old OB (original bottling) would bring a little more to the party.  Oh well.

But hey…disappointment does not necessarily correlate with quality (or any lack of).  This is still a decent dram.  If you can scoop it at the right price point you’ll be sitting with a balanced easy-drinker suited to most occasions.  And maybe that ’21’ on the bottle will suitably impress your less scrupulous mates and houseguests.  😉

Nose:  Dust.  Red licorice.  Vanilla.  Floral and perfumed.  Sugar cookies, orange marmalade and touch of mint.  Pepper.

Palate:  Oak is very loud and it’s a bit too sharp on the deep vanillins.  Uber sweet with some mint again.  Kinda like a spritz of perfume on the tongue.  There may be a touch of peat…and a wisp of smoke.  Barley stands up to take its bow at the end in a crescendo of grains.

Not a bad nose, but the palate just doesn’t measure up.  Shame that at 21 years this Highlander shows so little true individuality and character.  By no means bad, just utterly mundane.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt