Lets have a release from the impressive Cadenheads Authentic Collection outturn earlier this year. The headline grabber was the 1980 Caol Ila bottled at 36 years of age, but as I've discovered the Glenkinchie and Glen Garioch have kept the bar considerably high - don't worry reviews of these will all follow.
Rounding off this assortment is an offering from the Speyside workhorse Glentauchers, which I dropped by during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. It's not open to the public but sometimes you do have to pull over and check something on the car...
Today its part of the Chivas Brothers group owned by Pernod Ricard. Established in 1897, by none other than James Buchanan who created the Black & White blend. This the tail end of a sustained period of growth for the Scotch industry. Parliament had reported on the practises of blended whisky, where previously poor distillate was being sold to the public. Buchanan was a staunch believer in the skill of blending and producing good whisky. Unsurprisingly he was the official supplier to the Houses of Parliament which was a major honour in the 1890's.
Just a year later, growth was no longer possible with December 1898 heralding the arrival of the Pattison whisky crash that sent a tidal wave through the industry. Buchanan was seen as a man of integrity by the all-powerful banks, who asked him to value the remaining whisky stocks held by the bankrupt Pattison's. For Buchanan a great deal of wealth, a title and Royal Warrant would follow in the coming decades as his whisky empire went from strength to strength.
Glentauchers takes is name from a nearby farm (Tauchers), just outside the town of Keith. Accessibility played a major part in deciding the location of the distillery - like many others on Speyside - with road and rail links being factors. Buchanan's blending operation was situated in Glasgow at the WP Lowrie yard. Here it would be vatted and then placed into casks before being shipped to bars across the country with London being a major market.
Bottled at 26 years of age in July 2016 from a bourbon barrel, just 108 bottles were released at 48.2% strength. It'll set you back around £107 which when you consider the price of whiskies today is decent value. Now lets get down to the most interesting part of any whisky purchase, the tasting...
Colour: a glass of Gewurztraminer
Nose: a blast of wood but its not turbo charged like young things we see nowadays. No, here its integrated with vanilla, a slice of orange and nutmeg. Resin, stewed tea, cinnamon, coconut and ginger cake all cascade from the glass. A voluptuous waterfall of character that oozes age and quality. Water brings out a noticeable beeswax and digestive biscuits.
Taste: a lovely poise and a real malty aspect with an undercurrent of juicy fruit. A creamy toffee, a little honey, milk chocolate and a touch of bitterness from the wood. It's an unpretentious whisky, subtle and easy drinking.
Overall: loved the nose on this one but the palate is just refined and modest. I suppose that's the thing about Glentauchers; its content to do its own thing without showboating or using gimmicks. Another very solid offering from Cadenheads that'll go down well with enthusiasts.
Sample purchased as part of a bottle share club.
Labels: 26 year old, authentic collection, cadenhead, cadenhead's, featured, glentauchers