Sunday, 31 January 2016

Garnheath XOP 41 Years Old

Another 41 year old Garnheath… maybe they were part of the same parcel?  Carn Mor had one recently, so I was very keen to try this one out.  Sadly I got to it just as it all sold out, it was only on Master of Malt so maybe it’ll show up elsewhere at some point?

Garnheath 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 11029) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing), 48.9% A⊕

garnheath-41-year-old-1974-cask-11029-xtra-old-particular-douglas-laing-whiskyNose - Deep and classy, cherry lip salve and a touch of petrol. A slightly ghostly grain edge, with marker pens and sawdust on the exhale. Sliced granary bread, some ozone. It's a very fresh, elegant nose with underlying sweetness and lots of restrained grain, tobacco, orange zest and oak. Lovely. The empty glass has deep, important cask wax, and a weird hit of recharred cask?

Body - Quite big and fruity - banana and buttercream icing, a backing of grain funk (that petrol again) and lots of wood tannins. With time a sourness starts to dominate.

Finish - Tannins dominate; fresh oak planks and stewed tea. Very long and drying.

The combination of a juicy, fruity nose, with fizzing top notes and tons of oak and big tannins in the end is very compelling, this is also a very restrained, elegant old grain, it must have been a very refill cask! That orange pith sourness in the delivery is a bit offputting though, this isn't a soft old whisky. And the wood influence is also odd; it's like it spent 41 years in a 5x refilled bourbon cask and then a day in a virgin oak cask. It is bloody delicious though.

Thanks to Douglas Laing for the sample.

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