The second of two TWE exclusive G&M Connoisseur’s Choice bottlings released in December 2018 – this one has spent 14 years in a refill sherry hogshead (I dare say a particularly active refill sherry cask). 296 bottles have been produced at an ABV of 55.1% - they’re available for £94.95 from The Whisky Exchange.
Nose: The sherry influence is immediate and hefty – dark chocolate, dried fruits (figs, dates and raisins), freshly tanned leather, burnt toffee sauce and blackberries concentrated down to a thick cordial. There’s a sense of weight and meatiness here with pan juices, singed roasted joint and heavily reduced balsamic. In the background, something vaguely mineralistic and volcanic – not quite sulphurous, but certainly molten and a little brimstone. The addition of water seems beneficial here, expressing some brighter fruitiness with orange zest and cinnamon apples whilst revealing some underlying barrel char and further burnt meatiness.
Taste: The arrival is all burnt wood and reduced pan sugars offering a juxtaposition between bitter and sweet. Intense dark chocolate, blackcurrant and blackberry preserves are offset against singed tobacco, espresso and scorched oak. The mid-palate offers some respite with cleaner flavours of orange segments and milk chocolate sauce, before progressing in to a conclusion of rum and raisins, bitumen and shoe polish. Reduction doesn’t feel necessary from an ABV standpoint, but certainly offers a more even ride with an improved balance of spirit and cask. The palate is softened with a reduction in sugars and heavy sherry influence, making way for brighter flavours of zesty orange, marmalade and toffee sauce.
Finish: Medium to long with dark chocolate moving towards milk chocolate and a tingle of peppy cinnamon spice.
This is a substantial and forceful Glenturrent that’s far from shy about its sherry influenced origins. Whilst packed full of intense and deep aromas and flavours, the approach here is more sledgehammer than it is artful balance. Weighty and concentrated with plenty to say, but at the same time unwieldy and demanding of hydration to tease out fruitier nuances.
Review sample provided by The Whisky Exchange
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