Glen Garioch Renaissance is more than just another dram … it is a well-crafted statement of new Whisky beginnings in the spirit of enlightenment. The Glen Garioch
distillery (pronounced Glen Geerie
) was founded around 1797
by the Manson brothers, although many claim it was in fact Thomas Simpson. Different sources tell different stories. It is located in Oldemldrum, a small town in the Highlands
famous for producing the finest barley in all of Scotland. Or so they say.
The Glen Garioch distillery is one of the oldest and easternmost distilleries in Scotland
and is operated by Morrison Bowmore Distillers,
which is owned by Suntory
, one of Japan's largest distilleries (check out Whisky's Big in Japan for more on Japanese Whisky). Glen Garioch is specialised in "handcrafted"
Scotch that is never chill filtered.
Glen Garioch have been in continuous operation since 1797 … well, almost. Your see, when the ownership changes hands in 1995, there were two “dark” years when new production was completely stopped, the process tweaked, and the peat removed from the malting process. So you really have two Glen Garioch’s … pre-1995 and post-1997. How do the changes impact this historic Whisky? The Whisky Masters as Glen Garish decided to find out.
The Glen Garioch Renaissance 15-year has the “subtitle” of 1st Chapter (with three more to come!). This special edition is the first release that is all post-1997 “new method” stuff. And good stuff it is, too, with a fresh cinnamon-orange spice and ginger-marmalade flavor that is spot on with good body, a buttery richness, and just a tad of sweetness.
Notice how the nickname for this dram is “1st Chapter”? That’s because the Renaissance series is a grand experiment to see how the new recipe and process modulates the flavor profile over time. There will be three more Renaissance editions: at 16, 17, and 18-year old versions. Uncle Flaviar is going to collect the entire set.