The Glenturret distillery sits just outside the Perthshire town of Crieff and has done so since 1818 (or perhaps 1770 as it was allegedly the site of an illicit still for quite some time beforehand)
The distillery ran until it was closed down and stripped out in 1928 and remained silent until 1959 when it was refitted using the stills from nearby(ish) Tullibardine.
The distillery has changed hands several times since, firstly to Remy Cointreau and then eventually to Edrington.
Glenturret lives very much in the shadow of the blend that most of its production is destined for – The Famous Grouse. In fact the visitor centre is home to the The Famous Grouse Experience. Earlier this year Edrington put the distillery up for sale as part of their re-focus on their more ‘premium’ brands such as The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park. They will retain ownership of the Famous Grouse brand however the Famous Grouse Experience is set to close.
Today we will be looking at four different Glenturrent expressions, The 10 year old, a NAS Peated, an NAS Sherry and a Triple Cask.
Glenturret 10, OB, 40%abv, official sample, available here
There is a solid toffee backbone with peaches, fruit cocktail and a waft of rolling tobacco. A vanilla undertone and a faint orangey element emerge along with a slight mineral sharpness.Perhaps a slight and very subtle grassy note.
The palate is quite biscuity, and given time there is a faint herbal note, almost akin to some weird Grappa I tried many years ago. The orange element is still here but its definitely a sharper blood orange influence. Interestingly it feels a little chalky at times. Theres an element of sandalwood here too.
There are some fruity undertones here and the vanilla is still present (although it feels more like charred vanilla) and is coupled with some other spices. Plenty of green wood tannins here too and a twist of pepper. Finish is much longer than I though it might be and is extremely akin to the palate, no surprises here.
Glenturret Peated, OB, NAS, 43%abv, official sample, available here.
The distillery produces 64,000 litres of peated spirit per year which I’m taking a (badly) educated guess forms part of its commitment to making the requisite component for the Famous Grouse blend.
Here we are with a standalone peated release.
A light peat smoke mixes with charred wood, a soft florality and a mild floral feeling. After a little time to open up then there are also elements of vanilla and some very distant fruits, namely green apple and apricot.
The palate is mineraly and dry. Malty textures combine with a faint shortbread element. Faintly creamy and with a slight wine like feeling. If you remember Toffo’s (a type of toffee confectionary) then I’m getting a strong taste of them after a while.
The finish is much softer than the others. The peat fades to leave a crisp and tangy green apple note. Much less oppressively tannic. Touches of phenols linger with a soft pepperiness.
Glenturret Sherry, OB, NAS, 43%abv, official sample, available here.
This particular expression utilises both American and Spanish sherry seasoned oak casks.
The nose is definitely deeper and darker in style to the 10. Still orangey but with some mild spice, roses, a touch of spice and a waft of caramel. There is a slight soapy note here too.
It definitely has a slightly oilier mouthfeel than the others. It is nutty and somewhat buttery in the main. There is an underlying sweetness but this is soon overtaken by Battenberg cake and a slight gingerness. A good sultana element intermingles with some wood and some tobacco notes.
The finish is pleasantly tannic but can feel overly gingery. The drying oak is a bit too much for me at times. Finishes with a strong pepperiness.
Glenturret Triple Wood, NAS, OB, 43%abv, official sample, available here.
The Triple Wood uses (unsurprisingly) 3 separate cask styles. American and European sherry oak casks and ex-bourbon barrels.
The nose is full of tangy fruit. There is a slight banana note and a little soap here and there. A big waft of pineapple leaves and a little redcurrant jam mix with a omnipresent toffee.
The palate again is a little chalky and at times grassy. Burnt vanilla and faint toffee mixes with run n raisin ice cream. Salted caramel and herbs become prevalent as we move to the finish.
As with the others the finish is drying and awash with green tannins. Perhaps a little too much. Ginger, white pepper and barley sugars linger.
The Glenturret DNA runs strong through all of these expressions, regardless of finish or style. Personally I wasn’t keen on the majority of them as I found the strong green tannic element combined with the drying minerality a touch too much in most of these drams.
Less so in the 10 where my perceived ‘faults’ seem to turn into more of a strength as it just feels so much more balanced and endearing.
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