Wemyss Malts 'Fallen Apples' 1989 Glen Garioch (46% abv)
Highland Single Malt
Circa £110.00 70cl
Independent bottler, Wemyss Malts, announced their first Single Cask release of 2016 towards the end of January with six casks selected to showcase the best of Speyside, Islay and The Highlands and, ranging in age from 13 to 25 years old.
The full list from this tranche of single casks released:
- "Sizzling Charcoal" 1997 single cask from Bunnahabhain Distillery, Islay,
- "Coastal Confection" 1996 single cask from Bowmore Distillery, Islay, Cask Strength
- "The Highland Mariner 1997 single cask from Clynelish Distillery, Highlands
- "Fallen Apples" 1989 singe cask from Glen Garioch Distillery, Highlands
- "Barrista’s Dram" 2002 single cask from Craigellachie Distillery, Speyside
- "Toasted Anise" 1996 single cask from Glenrothes Distillery, Speyside
There are only a few hundred bottles from each cask and the suggested retail prices range from £55 to £110. These bottlings will be available in selected retailers in the UK, EU and key Asian markets.
So What Did I Think?
When I saw the press release, two of the six single casks interested me a little more than the others; the 1997 Clynelish and this 1989 Glen Garioch and cheekily asked if there was a sample available to review.
In 1989 Glen Garioch still had their own floor maltings, hence my immediate interest when I saw this list. When the floor maltings were in operation, the malt was peated, albeit to a very low level, at circa 8-10 ppm.The practice discontinued when the distillery was mothballed in 1995, and like most distilleries these days, all the malt is brought in from independent maltsters.
'Fallen Apples' bottled at 46% abv at the end of last year was distilled in 1989 and just 266 bottles are out there so when it's gone, it's gone!
As with so many of their single cask releases, the Wemyss Malts team are bang on the money with naming this one as an Autumn apple harvest was my first impression when bringing the glass up to my nose. With a drop of water, it's baked apples covered in glazed brown sugar, while a herbal heather note brings up the background. There's also an elusive hint of smoke, not an earthy peat-like smoke, but more like the smoke from a blacksmith's forge (anthracite) and some charred wood.
Apples dominate the palate flavours too, with stewed apples initially, which is followed by apple wood notes, freshly cut at first, seasoned and polished later. The gentle wood smoke comes through right at the end of the spicy finish.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this traditional Highland malt, it's a little over my £100 budget but for a little piece of history, this gently peated 25 Year Old Single Cask Glen Garioch is good buy. Many thanks to Wemyss Malts for the sample (any chance of a sample of the Clynelish too?)