The Macphail's Collection is a range of single malt whiskies bottled by the Elgin based Gordon & Macphail. This is a great starter series with younger malts from Bunnahabhain, Highland Park, Glenrothes, Glen Scotia, Glenglassaugh, Tamdhu and Glenturret. As you can see, not the least of Scotland's distilleries. All of them are bottled at a perfectly drinkable 43% ABV. Tonight I will review The Macphail's Collection Glenturret 2002 Vintage.
Glenturret is one of the lesser names as a single malt and lies somewhat in the shadow of the The Famous Grouse Experience housing in its buildings. The distillery has been appointed as the 'spiritual home' of the Famous Grouse blends. Glenturret can be dated back to 1775 and is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Initially it was an illicit farm distillery named Hosh Distillery. Only in 1875 they took on the name Glenturret (from 1826 until 1853 another distillery nearby was called Glenturret).
Glenturret uses a stainless steel open mash tun. The mash is still stirred by hand and the draff, the residue of husks after fermentation, has to be removed manually. Edrington produces 340.000 litres of alcohol per year at Glenturret. Some 64.000 litres is heavily peated spirit used for blending that goes by the name Ruadh Maor. (I had the opportunity to nose it last year in a blending session with Lucy Whitehall. Sadly no tasting allowed...)
Identity Card The Macphail's Collection Glenturret 2002
- The Macphail's Collection Glenturret 2002
- Glenturret Distillery, Crieff (Highlands)
- Bottled by Gordon & Macphail as a Macphail's Collection
- 13 year old single malt, bottled 21 December 2015
- Alcohol: 43% ABV
- Natural colour and un-chillfiltered
- First fill sherry puncheons (318 litres)
Tasting notes The Macphail's Collection Glenturret 2002Colour: The whisky inherited an old golden colour from spending 12 to 13 years in first fill sherry casks.
Nose: Welcome to the sweetie shop. Chocolate, cherries, marzipan and candy apple with an extra sugar coating. Spanish almond cake with a flower-infused topping with violas and lavender. A musky perfume lingers in the glass. Mango and honey.
With water we move on to a dusty sherry bodega. Caramelized oranges and flan au caramel or caramel pudding with vanilla seeds. Orange marmalade and Pim's biscuits (our version of Jaffa cakes).
Taste: The palate is a continuation of the nose. Lots of chocolate and orange flavours. Again those Pim's biscuits with a slightly bitter note. Creamy chocolate milk, cherry liquor and figs.
A few drops of water bring out some heavy wood flavours. Oak and peppercorn. Sweet oranges and creamy vanilla custard.
Finish: Roasted almonds and nougat. Sweet till the end.
ConclusionThe smaller sherry puncheons, compared to butts which contain 500 litres of liquid, create a bigger impact because of the wood-spirit ratio. They transformed this whisky into a sweet treat. I'm not sure if this whisky is an overall representation of the Glenturret style. If you know more if it, let me know in the comments.
This is a bottle I'd consider to buy for myself on the next shopping trip. It's not overly complex but highly enjoyable and good value for money. At €51 / £41.25 a bottle this is a great whisky for those who are putting their first steps in whisky and are looking beyond the official bottlings. If you're a bit more experienced, don't turn your nose up for it. It's a decent everyday dram if you are into something sherried.
Disclosure: The sample was sent to me by Gordon & Macphail as a part of their 'The Wood makes the Whisky' campaign. Opinions stated are my own.
Images: Gordon & Macphail (bottle), Glenturret (stillroom)