Glen Marnoch Highland Single Malt Rum Cask Finish

As a possible present for Father's Day, Aldi have released another limited expression in its Glen Marnoch range. Having enjoyed the Glen Marnoch Highland Single Malt and the Glen Marnoch Islay Edition for what they are and importantly a great price, it was only polite that I should pick up the latest release.

We're still in the Highland whisky region of Scotland but this time around the whisky is a double cask release. The packaging is informative and I do like the single explanation. Folk do harp on about more information for whisky consumers but the most important aspect here is the price of £19.99 for a single malt and just enough detail.

What we do know is that it started life in an ex-bourbon cask from American for at least the minimum period to be called whisky. That's 3 years and a day for those unaware. The whisky has been transferred into another cask. This extra maturation isn't uncommon as we see it with sherry, wine and port casks to give an extra dimension to the whisky. However here its a Caribbean rum cask that's been selected, which is unusual.

The expression that jumps to mind is the Balvenie 14 year old Caribbean cask and I do recall Cadenheads enjoying a rum cask finish. It's a fun and light whisky with a really engaging, playful nose that does work with the rum influence. I know from speaking with a Balvenie Ambassador that sourcing good rum casks is difficult and this may explain why we haven't seen other rum cask finishes. Cadenheads can do it as they bottle various rums and are masters of cask selection.

Call it double maturation, cask acing or whatever you will, it can deliver worthwhile results or in some cases very little benefit. Lets crack open the bottle and see what this Glen Marnoch is all about.

Colour: a vibrant ruby
Nose: a freshly baked mince pie of all things. Some icing sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried oranges, brown sugar and a very noticeable helping of creamy toffee. A hint of ginger but water isn't beneficial overall.
Taste: very detrimental bringing this down to 40% strength as its does lose much of its character becoming watery and feeling fragile. Funnily enough a similar problem to the aforementioned Balvenie whisky that smelled better than it tasted. The flavours have a real summertime feel. Marzipan, oranges and cranberries. Oddly a little plasticine and ginger with some walnuts.  

Overall: this would have benefited from longer in the rum cask and a higher alcohol strength. There's nothing wrong with this whisky at its asking price but after the solid standards of the Glen Marnoch range this has slipped a little below the benchmark. An ideal summer sipper or mixer, it is miles better than Douglas Laing's The Epicurean and about half the price. Yet I'd suggest you stick with the Glen Marnoch Highland Single Malt for a more punchy and worthwhile experience.

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