Whisky hoarding is a popular practice among enthusiasts who enjoy collecting rare and unique bottles, or just swapping and buying a significant number of bottles and samples. However, this practice comes with its own set of risks, including the possibility that some bottles may never be tasted and could be lost to evaporation. Unfortunately, I recently experienced this firsthand. I have hundreds of samples and minis waiting for me, but when I recently reached for a Loch Lomond (Rhosdhu) bottled by Cadenhead in 1994, I found that the fill level was low (probably just 1.5 cl left out of the initial five), and the whisky was flat and bland, the alcohol gone, evaporated. To avoid this happening again, I checked what other similar era minis I had, and that’s when I remembered this 1965 Glenturret, bottled in 1990 by Cadenhead’s, and still with a reasonable fill level (but already down to about 4 cl)…
Glenturret 1965 Cadenhead’s (1990) Review
Distilled in May 1965, this Glenturret marked a significant period in its history. Six years prior, in 1959, production had recommenced after James Fairlie acquired and re-equipped the distillery, rescuing it from nearly three decades of serving as storage for agricultural purposes. Fast forward 25 years from its distillation, and in October 1990, Cadenhead’s presented this Glenturret as a 25-year-old expression. Encased in the iconic dumpy bottles of the time, it boasted a robust cask strength of 50.3% ABV within the standard – of that era – 750 ml bottle size. Regrettably, details about the cask type and outturn size remain elusive. Although the opportunity to acquire this rare gem has long passed, I was fortunate to secure a 50 ml mini at auction in 2019 for €12 before fees – a favourable price, considering its scarcity in recent auction records for both miniatures and full-size bottles.
Neat: Subdued with hints of slightly decayed oranges and peaches, along with pear, dusty wood shelves, and limestone. A mild sharpness is present without any noticeable heat.
With water: Adding a few drops of water reveals stronger fruit notes, metallic shelves, and the scent of freshly sawn wood planks.
Neat: The palate exhibits a pronounced tropical profile with overripe mango, pineapple, guava, and passion fruit. The mouthfeel is simultaneously creamy and chalky, accompanied by notes of lemon juice, chili, soot, wet dirt, floury milk chocolate, and a hint of copper coins.
With water: Similar flavour profile persists, though the chalky sensation in the mouthfeel is subdued.
The finish extends with a lingering chalky mouthfeel and the persistence of fruity flavours on the tongue. A pleasant warmth develops at the base of the throat, accompanied by notes reminiscent of orange juice pulp.
Despite the initially subdued nose, the palate proved to be a pleasant surprise with its vibrant and fruity tropical notes. The unexpected chalky mouthfeel added a distinctive element to the tasting, a rarity in my encounters. I’m particularly pleased with this miniature, especially considering the evaporation concerns that arose from a previous experience with a different whisky, add explained in my introduction. Fortunately, this Glenturret did not suffer the same fate, and its palate, suggesting an ABV of 50+, was satisfying. Whilst a more expressive nose could have elevated the overall experience, I’m content with the positive aspects of this tasting.
Next, I’ll examine my other miniature bottles and consider applying parafilm to safeguard against additional evaporation…
Bottle photo courtesy of Scotch Whisky Auctions.