The 4th of July was as suitable a day as any for Beam Suntory’s Glen Garioch Distillery to launch the first of their new American Trilogy range, hot off the heals of the final chapter in the popular 4 Chapter Renaissance Story.

Focussing on the characteristics of Virgin American Oak, the trilogy will be made up of releases matured wholly in American Oak Casks from three different States – Kentucky, Missouri and Minnesota.

Friends old and new and an impromptu AWE get-together!

Welcoming the party into the former Malt Flooring, Fiona’s Marshall and Sanderson opened the event with a sweet Mint Julep, made with Glen Garioch’s Virgin Oak Batch 2 whisky, which was released earlier this year. A sweet cocktail with mint, whisky and sugar syrup this was a lovely introduction to the night.

The canapés provided by Meldrum House Hotel were worthy of the ticket fee alone. To 65936345_875407692798041_6088609152785973248_n.jpgquote fellow attendee Lorenzo “A Shitload of Food” was provided. Singing to the American theme with Burger Sliders also available were Cauliflower Satay, Haggis & Whisky Balls amongst others. For dessert was Honeycomb with Balvenie Street Ice Cream (Coming to an Inverurie Whisky Shop Soon!) flavoured with Glen Garioch whisky. As good at they were, I’m not sure they lined up the first whisky perfectly.

We were taken upstairs to the second floor of the Malting barn, a previously 65939891_440471373202517_2407605352985001984_nunseen part of the Distillery which was decked out in American regalia and greeted with a sample of the first release. Aged in Kentucky American Virgin Oak since 2012. Bottled at 61.8% and limited to a single cask. Going from the sweetness of the ice cream confused the palate a little bit and it took a little bit of time to adjust to the spices in the whisky.

I picked some dry, oaky spices with a malty biscuit note. The spirit of Glen Garioch came through with dried crisp apple and cinnamon spices, enveloped in a buttered toast and honey sandwich. The finish was drier than I’d expected from a Virgin Oak cask, with orange bitter-sweet flavours and dark chocolate drying the mouth and lingering. Oak notes are still present. With a couple of drops of water the whisky really comes into it’s own. Lashings of honeyed toffee notes escape the glass on the nose. Orange and honey flavours wash over the palate and leaves a more salivating, juicy finish.66049843_2392967844306082_8235953678205321216_n

Sneak peaks into the Missouri and Minnesota releases were on offer but with promises to not go too much into detail I can confirm that they are both excellent drams and worth waiting for.

Using Oak from the 3 Eastern States, which provide the majority of wood for Whisky Casks in America, Glen Garioch are hoping to pay homage to the raw goodness of Quercus Alba which provides the majority of Scotch Whisky Casks, albeit via Bourbon Distilleries. With their first Virgin Oak release one of my all time favourite whiskies, they certainly have the spirit to combine well with this style of whisky.

Lorenzo and Ally Discuss Glen Garioch in depth

The event was a great offering by Glen Garioch. It is clear their staff love their whisky and are more than happy to talk to everyone in the room, be it newbies, old hands or people who turned up looking for Classic American Cars! Events and hospitality like this are what makes a great community style distillery. It is little wonder that Glen Garioch did so well at last years Scotch Whisky Awards (3rd best Distillery Visitor Experience) and are again up for Brand Experience and Tourism Destination of the Year Awards. Having these guys on our doorstep is an honour and a benchmark for other distilleries in what they are offering in terms of experiences for fans of Aberdeenshire’s Whisky.

A very welcoming atmosphere at Aberdeenshire’s Glen Garioch Distillery