A man, who was being interviewed on BBC radio last week, was trying to convince the presenter, and in turn the listeners, that Doric is a language. This started a bit of a debate between my fellow scots, one that none of us have really gotten to the bottom of yet, but the general consensus was that Doric is a dialect. Far from being linguists, we did have good (or so we thought) arguments to secure each point of view.
For those who are lost with the paragraph above, Doric is spoken in the north east of Scotland, particular around the Aberdeen area typically starting north of Montrose and over to Forfar. I have always been aware of it, with phrases like “fit like” meaning “how are you” to which you might answer “nae bad like” but to me this has always just been a twist on the English, almost a lazy way round the words. Just to confuse thing a bit further, there are words used in this part of the world that even a Scot is baffled by, neither Scots or Gaelic words like “loon” and “quine” which translates to boy and girl. My main argument was that if you converse with a local of this area, they may use some words of the Doric dialect, but the rest of the sentence is made up of English and therefore if it was a language, why would it all not be incomprehensible? I still stand by my point- its a dialect, twisted around some original words, mixed with English and old Scots.
Anyway, why am I telling you this? Well, as you are aware, I recently visited the distillery of Glen Garioch (Geerie) in the town of Old Meldrum. Smack bang as it is in the centre of Doric speaking folk, it can be troublesome to understand a local if you stop for directions, but I got by. Also, this week I was sent some whisky from them. The 1994, 1991 and 1986 I review here, but it is the Founders reserve and the 12 year old I am reviewing now.
Glen Garioch used to malt it’s own barley, over four enormous floors and employed a team of 25 in doing so, but after a short period of closure (1994-1997) they (Suntory) decided not to reinstate the maltings and instead use central maltings. These two reviewed expressions are post reopening.
48% ABV non chill filtered
Appearance: Bright gold with warm straw
Nose: Honey and golden syrup backed by lots of rich vanilla and earthy peat. Light toffee and cherry fruit notes overall provides a sweet complex, and very approachable nose.
Palate: Soft toffee and candied fruits quickly give way to earthy peat, spiced wood and hard caramel. The power of the 48% is well integrated, helping the sweetness dry slightly to macadamia nut.
Finish: light spice, vanilla and nutty wood.
Stick to this being uncut, the addition of water seems to drop the sweetness out altogether and delivers a soapy note on the nose.
48% ABV non chill filtration
Appearance: Rose gold with polished bronze
Nose: Rich in caramel and vanilla fudge with jammy fruit notes of greengage and very light sulphur drying the nose towards the end. Well integrated orange oil polished oak throughout.
Palate: Rich and full with creamy vanilla, rounded cooked fruits and a lifting peat flavour which dances through the spiced wood.
Finish: Perhaps fades a little too quickly but still very enjoyable.
Again, like the Founders Reserve, it just doesn’t take water well I found, flattening the fruit and delivering a bitter copper note like I had licked a 2p piece!