Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review - Glenturret Fly's 16 Masters Edition

The Fly's 16 Masters Edition is a new limited edition single malt from the Highland distillery of Glenturret, the oldest official distillery that is currently in operation in Scotland. The new whisky is 16 years old and inspired by a recent discovery at the distillery - an old photo that was found at the back of a cupboard.  The photo (pictured below) was taken in 1905 and featured the 16 distillery workers and Fly, the Distillery Manager's dog.  The workers, nicknamed 'Fly's 16' feature on the bottle, which is the latest in Glenturret's Masters Edition series.  The whisky was launched in mid-May and some remains available for sale.

Glenturret is located in the Perthshire town of Crieff and was founded by a group of illicit whisky producers in 1775. It was originally a small farm operation called Hosh Distillery and this was finally legalised in 1837 when John Drummond took over. The name was only changed to Glenturret in 1875 on the 100th anniversary of production and has remained that ever since. Glenturret is one of the smaller distilleries in Scotland with an annual production capacity of only 150,000 litres and is one of the most traditional with most work still completed by hand. It is currently owned by the Edrington Group, who took control in 1999.

The Glenturret Fly's 16 Masters Edition is bottled at 44% ABV and there are just 1,740 bottles available - these can only be purchased via the dedicated page on www.theglenturret.com.  Each bottle is individually hand numbered and will cost £95.  In addition, a selected few 'special numbers' will be sold for £130.

Our tasting notes
The colour is golden yellow and the nose exhibits and interesting collection of aromas - think of stewed apple, vanilla fudge, caramel, sultanas, malted barley and candied orange peel.  There are also hints of freshly ground coffee, milk chocolate and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.

On the palate this whisky is instantly gripping and robust.  There are immediate heavily savoury notes that are most reminiscent of bittersweet cereals, black treacle (or is it molasses?) and a hint of leather.  Underneath are some earthy spices, such as cinnamon and ginger, that accentuate this savoury feel.

Much needed sweetness comes in the form of a distinct honey-like note and with some sugary dried fruits (think of raisins and sultanas especially).  A pleasant bitterness is added by elements of dried cherry and candied orange peel, plus hints of dark roast coffee and milk chocolate.  A very late characteristic of overipe or cooked banana adds further depth.

The finish lingers for what seems like ages.  This is especially true of the robust savoury elements and in particular the earthy spices, bittersweet malted cereals and coffee/chocolate notes.

What's the verdict?
This is another interested limited edition from Glenturret, which is a distillery that seems to have a bit of a cult status amongst whisky fans.  The robust and savoury nature may not appeal to some palates, but it creates interest and takes the whisky in a different flavour direction than the regular releases.  This should be what limited editions do and we like it because of that.

With so few bottles available we recommend grabbing one now if you are interested.  We are sure they will not be around for long, as other similar releases from Glenturret have always sold out quickly.

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