Friday, March 09, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #50

Glengoyne 'Charlie's Choice' 17yo
Single Cask Single Malt Whisky
56% abv

Last year, Glengoyne released a series of single cask bottlings selected by the stillmen at the distillery. The bottlings were very highly acclaimed. This year the mashmen were given the chance to prove that they also had great skills in choosing the perfect whisky. Another exercise that goes to show that there are different whiskies for different folks, and what one person may think is heavenly could be hell-in-a-bottle to another.

Charlie (Charles Murray) says, "I've been watching Cask 1231 for a while and am honoured to be releasing it. In my 17 years at Glengoyne this is the best cask I have tested. Full of sherry and soft oak, with layers of vanilla and marzipan. Heaps of complexity and no rough edges whatsoever."
From a first-fill Oloroso Sherry hogshead, distilled 6th July 1989 and bottled August 2006.

I thank Iain Weir from Ian Macleod Distillers for letting me take this bottle away from the product launch I attended in the autumn. I just had to share it, and this taste was the last drop in the bottle, a perfect way to celebrate malt mission number 50(!!!)


Sweet oloroso, grapes, rich fortified wine. Beernuts, candied almonds. Swampy muddiness, like walking in bullrushes. Mint, green wine gums, envelope adhesive. An almost smoky element in there, too.

Great toffee sweetness. Brioche with nutella. Beernuts and candied almonds again. The intense oakiness gives a smoky impression, like pipe tobacco, or driving past a autumn garden fire. Aftertaste is very oaky, not too over powering or outstaying its welcome. Sweet like morning air after camping in the woods.


When I first tried this I was struck by how sherried it was and that I still liked it. I am not a sherry freak, but when sherry and malt combine in equal influence, the result is incredible. The powerful, oily barley spirit of Glengoyne (and Macallan, for that matter) match beautifully with this kind of oloroso cask. You also get the feeling that this was bottled just in time; any longer and the sherry might have won.

Malt Mission #46
Malt Mission #47
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Malt Mission #49

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