The history behind the Garnheath distillery is pretty short unfortunately, founded in 1964 and sadly closed and demolished in 1986, the distillery only produced grain whisky for such a short time, and although the annual capacity was 15,000,000 proof gallons, most would have gone straight into blends.. The fact we have any liquid to taste today is testament to those who had the foresight to purchase some casks and put aside be it for the purposes of blends or single grain ( almost certainly the aforementioned)
What we do know, albeit vague alternative versions exist is that the distillery probably ran with five continuous stills in order to produce the 15 million litres of spirit, this distillery sat alongside the Glen Flagger distillery and Killyloch distillery who both produced malt whisky to go alongside the grain produced by Garnheath.. The Killyloch distillery fell silent in the early 1970’s and Glen Flagger followed suit in 1985 and sadly only one year later The Garnheath distillery closed its doors also..
These single grain releases are only now possible due to the indie bottlers, with companies like Douglas Laing having limited stocks which like everyone else’s stocks are both aging and becoming more scarce..
42 Year Old Garnheath – Douglas Laing
Age.. 42 years
Distilled.. February 1974
Bottled.. June 2016
Cask..Refill Barrel #11209
Outturn.. 130 bottles
Nose.. Straight into Vanilla and custard cream biscuits, caramel wafers and a touch of heather honey.. Banana fritters lead into milk chocolate and milky coffee.
Palate.. Victoria sponge cake and coffee are my initial thoughts with cinnamon buns, jaffa cakes and a touch of lemon peel that gives just a touch of bitterness..
Finish.. Softer than expected with sweetness and soft spices
Thoughts.. I love these old grain whiskies they can be as sexy as hell and to be honest if i could only drink these for the rest of my life i’d not whisper a word of contempt..
I know the price is not comparable to malt of the same age and of course we know the casks used in these older expressions were probably tired and that’s why they needed the length of maturation they have received but you have to understand that just makes the final product perfect..
The softness of these grains can only be adored and the aromas just send me into ecstasy.. Pour one of these after a long day at work, sit back in an armchair, close your eyes and just drift off into the wilderness that beckons..
For those of you who have read some of my reviews know i talk about the good whiskies taking you on a journey, this does exactly that, you feel the soft touch of it closing your eyes, it whispers into your subconscious and assures you it will be gentle, then it just takes you to that happy place where the stresses of this world don’t exist..
Whisky should and does take you to the arms of an angel if you allow it, allow it to connect mentally and you wont look back..