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Another big blending beast it may be but Glentauchers (pronounced: glen-TUCK-ers) has found some loyal fans over the years thanks to a regular string of bottlings, particularly by Gordon & MacPhail. While there are not too many others available, independent or otherwise, the ones that do exist showcase a distillery with a fairly interesting fingerprint and one that is very good for contemplative friendly dramming, at times when modesty and full flavour are required in a whisky. Glentauchers is usually tasty without requiring too much brainwork to get through a glass or two.
Stills: 3 Wash 3 Spirit
Water Source: Rosarie Burn
Capacity: 4.5 Million Litres
Owners: Pernod Ricard
1965-1985: Grand Ideas
In 1965 Glentauchers was reconstructed. What started as a small, old school, two still distillery, complete with own floor maltings, was transformed into a modern six still beast. It was kitted out with all the usual modern equipment and became a plant designed to fuel the Teachers blend.
There are not many bottlings that I know of or have tasted from before 1965. There was a 17yo 1965 by Cadenhead’s which was fantastic, it showed the old style to be one full of herbs, wax, metallic notes, sheeps wool, minerals, gentle medicinal characters and subtle saltiness. Very old school in other words but these characteristics quickly disappeared from the distillate after such a big reconstruction. Another change was also instigated by the loss of the floor maltings around 1969. By the mid seventies there are a few more examples of Glentauchers in bottle. A great 1975 by The Whisky Agency showed great distillate in a great 'hands off’ style cask. Maybe at such age there wasn't too much distillery character but it did show that Glentauchers retained much of its 1960s style waxiness and delicate peat influence while developing a much more distinct fruitiness. Anyway these are undoubtedly the best bottlings of Glentauchers out there.
The commonly available bottlings are generally the ones from G&M, which are always at fantastic prices, I remember recently a 19yo 1990 Glentauchers for under £30, utter bargain! Anyway, the first bottlings were 1979s and they were typically fruity, gently medicinal, oily and with a little wax, they also showed much more modern aspects like vanilla, sweetness and more spicy notes.
1990-Present: Restart And Modern Distillate
Glentauchers was closed in 1985 and remained so until it was restarted by new owners Allied in 1990. Bottlings from this era onwards are more generic in nature and perhaps lack some of the individuality of pre closure Glentauchers. They are typically gingery, spicy, sweet, grassy and gently fruity, very typical, well made distillate in other words but maybe lacking a little personality. There are still some great bottlings however, a 1990 sherry cask by G&M for LMDW was a rich, Christmas pudding of a dram while several 1990 casks by Duncan Taylor have been very good also.