Glenlaird 10 vs Glenlaird 12

Last week I was honoured to be invited by Spirits Services to an online Tri Carragh tasting. Tri Carragh is owned by Stravaig Spirits which also has the Glenlaird Single Malts in their portfolio, and thanks to that fact we got to start the tasting with the Glenlaird 10 and Glenlaird 12 which I will be reviewing today.

Both Glenlaird expressions are single malts of which the distilleries are not officially known (and though there are some serious suspicions as to where these drams are from, I won’t disclose that here to keep this review as factual as possible).

What I can tell is that both expressions are bottled at 48 % ABV, unchillfitered and with natural colour to boot. It has all the makings of a good single malt, but let’s find out if what’s on paper can also be found on the nose, palate and finish of today’s tasting notes!

Tasting Notes – Glenlaird 10

ABV: 48% (96 proof)
Age: 10 years old
Distillery: Not stated
Chill-filtered: No
Natural Colour: Yes

A very malty nose welcomes you as you approach this dram, where notes of cereal, granola bars, honey, and freshly cut grass provide for a crisp and inviting nose. Notes of green apples, pear popsicles and rich vanilla heighten that sense of freshness.

A peppery yet fresh palate awaits. The green apples and honey from the nose are paired with a generous dusting of white pepper and a hint of nutmeg and ground cloves. The mouthfeel is buttery, which provides a lovely contrast to the more tannic influences I’m finding here. Oak shavings, apricots, vanilla custard, and hints of cherry wood round off this palate.

The finish is medium long with a pairing of yellow grapes, crushed peppermint leaves, and oak shavings standing out most of all. Some crisp apples, nutmeg and an ever so slight dusting of cacao appears as well.

The Glenlaird 10 is a nice and crisp summer dram. Perhaps it’s offering a little less complexity than I might have hoped for, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a very pleasant dram. Easy going, and sometimes that’s all you really want!

Tasting Notes – Glenlaird 12

ABV: 48% (96 proof)
Age: 12 years old
Distillery: Not stated
Chill-filtered: No
Natural Colour: Yes

Chocolate covered crispy bacon. I have no idea if that even exists but I’m finding it here and it makes my mouth water! That lovely note is paired on the nose of this Glenlaird 12 with sultanas, fresh dates, manuka honey, and charred moss. Peat and sweet, paired with a couple of vegetal hints.

Ash and lots of it! Paired with notes of white pepper, ground cloves, kardemom and charred strips of pork belly. Manzanilla sherry, oranges and beef jerky provides more depth to the palate of this dram, despite a rather thin mouthfeel.

Quickly after swallowing this dram becomes all liquorice. From salted liquorice, to salmiak and liquorice root. It lasts for quite a long time, but does become rather tannin forward after a while. Aside from that last note I’m enjoying the finish a lot!

The Glenlaird 12 is a completely different dram than it’s 2 years younger brother. Ofcourse the peat is partly to blame for that, but it’s more than that. This second dram is bolder and more outspoken, where the 10 year old was fresher and perhaps appearing a bit young for its age. Both drams are pleasant sippers though, none too complex but perfect for a night with friends!

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