Glendronach 16yo, 1993-2009, "The Pegasus", Whisky Tales
ABV: 61.5%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Whisky Tales
Cask type:
1st Fill Oloroso Sherry Cask (#527, 240 btl.)

 

Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: Rich and intense on the nose. Concentrated sherry notes nicely mixed with dried fruits, plums, dates and rum-soaked raisins, followed by a touch of nuttiness and sweet Demerara sugar. Slightly dry notes of cocoa and dark bitter chocolate arrive, with gentle polished antique furniture and a hint of tobacco leaves in the back. Lovely complex.
Palate: Deliciously sweet and intense on the palate. Rich sherry notes come along with dates, figs, plums and juicy oranges. This is accompanied by a bold and warming spiciness of pepper, cinnamon and oak. Sweet notes of Demerara sugar are quickly replaced by sligthly bitter notes of orange peel, tobacco leaves and dark chocolate towards the finish, resulting in a pleasant mouthfeel.
Finish: The finish is long and sweet with a nice creamy texture. Oranges with a warming spiciness of cinnamon and oak, followed by dry notes of tobacco leaves and lingering tannins in the end.
With water: Still sweet on the nose with full sherry flavours when a splash of water is added. Slightly more dry notes of oak, tobacco leaves and burnt matches. Sweet and creamy on the palate with lingering notes of sherry, dates and raisins. Dark chocolate and prickling oak spice on the tongue. The finish is long, creamy and warm with far more oranges, mixed with some more dry notes of oak, tannins and tobacco leaves on the tail.
Comments: What a stunner! Pure, natural sherry character. A dark, sherried and beautifully composed whisky with a well mastered alcohol. Impressively rich and indulgent, this single malt shows a nice complexity with a perfect balance. The flavours have melded in a beautiful way, in what must have been an excellent first-fill sherry cask. A great choice, especially as an after-dinner or late-night whisky.


GlenDronach 11yo, Hand-Filled, 2004-2015, Distillery Visitor Centre Exclusive
ABV: 59.2%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery (hand bottled)
Cask type: Sherry Puncheon (#5525)

Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: The nose starts off with concentrated sherry notes, along with massive dark fruits - rum soaked raisins, dates and stewed plums. Liquorice with sweet Demerara sugar, cinnamon spice and a whiff of tobacco leaves in the back. The alcohol is barely noticeable. A gorgeous nose!
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate. Now the alcohol comes through rigorous tickling the tongue. Then a rich and deep mix of sherry flavours arrives, lovely accompanied by rum soaked plums, raisins, caramel and dark chocolate. Spiced oak, cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg and white pepper linger towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, sticky sweet and creamy. Raisins and stewed plums accompanied by walnuts, tobacco leaves, cinnamon and dark chocolate on the tail. Yummy!
With water: More lively with a splash of water. The big sherry notes and sweet fruitiness is a bit tamed while spiced oak becomes more prominent. Still sweet and fruity on the palate with sherry, plums and raisins, but also significantly drier with more oak spice and bitter orange peel. The alcohol bite is noticeable tamed. The finish is still long, lingering sweet and creamy with plum compote, dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg and oak spice.
Comments: This is what you expect from a hand-filled bottling of GlenDronach single malt. Dark, rich, and beautifully composed - a natural sherry character. Although the alcohol bite is fairly noticeable on the tongue,  this dram is impressive, lovely complex and well-balanced tolerating a drop of water, or two. Perfect match as after-dinner or late-night whisky.


GlenDronach 12yo, 2004-2016, Single Cask, Bottled for Whiskyclub of Luxembourg & Vinothek Massen
ABV: 55.1%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Port Puncheon (#3340, 619 btl.)

 

Colour: Reddish amber.
Nose: An elegant and fruity nose with red berries, plums and cherries. Lingering wine aroma nicely mixed with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon. The alcohol is present but by no means pungent. Subtle notes of oak with slightly bitter grape peel in the back. Enticing!
Palate: Supremely sweet and vinous. Creamy vanilla, brown sugar and sweet wine flavours intermingling with red berries, plums and a touch of cinnamon. Slightly warming spiciness of oak, white pepper and a prickling alcoholic bite. Creamy acacia honey towards the finish. Mouth coating and well rounded.
Finish: A wonderfully sweet, creamy and long finish with plum jam, honey and subtle cinnamon. Slightly drying and tender astringent with oak and a touch of bitter grape peel. Very appealing!
With water: A few drops of water enhances the fruitiness on the nose. Additionally, both the wine flavours and spiciness (oak, nutmeg and cinnamon) are increased. Significantly spicier on the palate with oak and black pepper, followed by a lovely but slightly tamed sweetness of vanilla, honey, red berries and wine flavours. The finish is long, subtle sweet and creamy with slightly drying notes of oak and grape peel.
Comments: A beautifully composed and delicate dram. Nicely complex, elegant and well-balanced. The rich, sweet and fruity character blends quite well with the depth of the port puncheon and the intriguing warm oak spices. Very sweet and juicy neat with a tamed fruitiness and increased spiciness when diluted. An excellent and savoury after dinner single malt.


GlenDronach 20yo, Hand-Filled, 1994-2015, Distillery Visitor Centre Exclusive
ABV: 58.1%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery (hand bottled)
Cask type: Sherry Puncheon (#3200)

 

Colour: Bright mahogany.
Nose: Rich and intense on the nose. The sherry notes are concentrated and there is massive dried fruits along with dates and rum soaked raisins. Liquorice with sweet notes of Demerara sugar and caramel, followed by candied orange peel, gentle polished antique furniture, a whiff of tobacco leaves and walnut praline in the back. Incredibly aromatic with an elegant intensity.
Palate: Lovely sweet at start then the alcohol bite tickles the tongue a bit. A rich deep array of sherry flavours perfectly mixed with dates, raisins, bramble jam, candied orange peel, and treacle toffee. Spiced oak takes over accompanied by warming notes of cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg and polished furniture. Good grip but not too tannic. A huge palate - big, rich, firm, luxurious.
Finish: The finish is very long, sticky sweet and creamy. Lingering with clean sherry, spiced oak, liquorice, nutmeg and slightly bitter notes of dried walnut and dark chocolate on the tail. Excellent!
With water: A dash of water slightly tames the sweetness and the solid hit of sherry on the nose while the fruity flavours become more prominent. Still very sweet and fruity on the palate with a massive load of warming spiciness. Becomes very dry though with a significantly astringent character. The finish is still long and sweet with plenty of liquorice and burnt toffee. Noticeable drier with espresso, green walnuts, tobacco leaves and oak.
Comments: A dark, luxurious, beautifully composed whisky from a distillery that is producing an impressive range. Incredibly rich and indulgent, this single malt is lovely complex with a great and perfect balance. The flavours have melded beautifully, in what must have been an excellent sherry cask. An impressive afterdinner dram, of true sophistication and style. Resplendent flavour and magnificent finesse makes this handfilled GlenDronach a must have.

 

I thank Johannes Burkhart (The Whisky Log) for the sample and the photograph!


GlenDronach 20yo, 1993-2013, Abbey Whisky Exclusive
ABV: 59.1%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery (Selected and bottled exclusively for Abbeywhisky.com)

Cask type: Oloroso Sherry Butt (#33, 592 btl.)

 

Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: Big and rich sherried nose with deep aromas of prunes, dates, raisins and sticky treacle. Delicate flavours of marzipan, luscious oranges and cinnamon emerge, accompanied by a whiff of leather (horse saddle), tobacco leaves, tender herbal notes, earl grey tea and a whiff of pencil shavings in the back. An absolutely gorgeous nose!
Palate: Oh boy - this is rich, intense, sweet and creamy! Raisins, dates and figs nicely mingle with lots of Demerara sugar on the palate. This is immediately followed by a warming and lovely spiciness of pepper, cloves and some ginger. Fine notes of marzipan arrive, lingering with subtle bitter orange peel, dark chocolate, espresso and tender almonds and walnuts towards the finish. Very accessible and perfectly balanced. Simply perfect!
Finish: A very long, sweet and spiced finish with Demerara sugar, marzipan and delicate cinnamon. Slightly bitter notes of oranges, expresso beans, almonds and walnuts deliciously mingle towards the end. Stunning!
With water: A few drops of water slightly enhance the fruity and creamy character of this beauty on the nose. Subtle notes of flint stone and a few more herbs are added to this gorgeous nose. Sweet, creamy and less spicy on the palate with herbal tea, blackcurrant, marzipan, raisins and delicate walnuts. The finish is long, creamy, sticky sweet with oranges, cacao and lovely walnut flavours.
Comments: A full-bodied traditional sherried character. Multilayered, perfectly balanced with depth and complexity. Tremendously creamy, spicy, sweet with lots of dried dark fruits and chocolate aroma, followed by a long and nutty aftertaste. GlenDronach spirit and Oloroso sherry - a fantastic example of a perfect symbiosis! This is whisky making in total perfection! If I had to choose only one bottle of GlenDronach from the fabulous year 1993, it would be cask #33 - NO DOUBT!


GlenDronach 20yo, Hand-Filled, 1993-2013, Distillery Visitor Centre Exclusive
ABV: 59.9%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery (hand bottled)
Cask type: Sherry Butt (#1618)

 

Colour: Rich ruby-dark mahogany, almost black.
Nose: Boy, this is rich and intense. Full of dark dried fruit, raisins, and dates, followed by delicate dark chocolate and fine marzipan. Liquorice, a touch of dark marmalade, classic bold sherry notes with a significant touch of coffee and a whiff of leather in the back. No signs of sulphur at all. A gorgeous nose - you can smell this all day long!
Palate: Rich and powerful. The alcohol bite tickles the tongue a bit. No wonder, it's almost 60% abv! Nicely sweet with dark cherries, dates and raisins, lovely coated in dark chocolate. Mouth-coating with Demerara sugar and a rich deep array of sherry flavours. Liquorice, pleasant stewed plums and a smooth note of walnuts, deliciously mixed with oaky tannins in the back. Fantastic!
Finish: The finish is very long, warm, round and sticky sweet with sherry-soaked raisins, coated in dark bitter chocolate. Plenty of liquorice and dried walnut nicely linger with coffee and expresso beans on the tail. Beautiful!
With water: The fruitiness is a bit tamed on the nose with a few drops of water, leading more chocolate flavours to the fore. Liquorice and marzipan accompanied by plenty of sherry and oak spice in the back. Sweet and creamy on the palate with lots of sherry, dates and raisins. The spiciness and alcohol bite is slightly tamed. The finish is still long, tender sweet and noticeable drier with coffee beans, walnuts, leather and oak.
Comments: This is what I call a real sherry bomb. Sherry shines through all the way with great elegance and complexity. This dram is incredibly rich, powerful and savoury. A gorgeous example of a seriously mature sherried GlenDronach in perfect balance. Another big shot of vintage 1993 - you have to taste this at least once in your lifetime.


GlenDronach 2012, Cask Strength Batch 1
ABV: 54.8%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry Casks

 

Colour: Rich amber.
Nose: A rich nose with huge notes of dried fruits, dates, and raisins. Lingering flavours of butterscotch arrive, combined with chocolate, caramelised ginger, orange peel, subtle cinnamon and a delicate touch of walnuts as well. Deep and very appealing.
Palate: Bold and intense. Very sweet on the palate with delicious sherry-derived flavours, dates and raisins. Sweet notes of caramel and demerara sugar are very well balanced with slightly bitter aromas of orange peel and pink grapefruit. Creamy, even silky with chocolate and a lovely spiciness derived from oak, white pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Absolutely delicious.
Finish: A wonderfully long and sweet finish with rum-coated raisins, cocoa powder and delicate walnut notes, with a whiff of cardamom in the aftertaste. Great balance.
With water: Water increases the creaminess on the nose with more spices, and additional tobacco leaves and tender leathery notes coming through. On the palate more bitter notes of pink grapefruit and orange peel arrive which work quite well with the sweet and spicy profile. The finish is a bit shorter with warm and vibrant spices. Very pleasant and slowly fading nutty flavours.
Comments: The very first batch of GlenDronach's Cask Strength range is rich, intense and full of flavour with an impressive balance. A wonderful whisky with lovely notes of sherry, raisins, caramel, chocolate and spice. A delightful dram with incredible depth. Another perfect expression of the unique GlenDronach character.


I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.

GlenDronach 18yo, Tawny Port Finish
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: European Oak, finished in Tawny Port Casks

 

Colour: Reddish amber.
Nose: An elegant nose with stewed dark fruit - raspberry, cherries, figs, and plum jam, complemented by delicate notes of port and gentle citrus. Subtle oak spices emerge with cinnamon and nutmeg, giving warmth and depth. A very pleasant nose!
Palate: Supremely fruity and vinous. Full of dark ripe fruits - cherries, plums, red berries and figs. This is followed by tobacco leaves, black pepper, cinnamon, cedar wood and oak spice, giving a delicate warmth and complexity. Gentle liquorice sweetness lingers towards the finish. Mouth coating and well rounded.
Finish: A wonderfully warm and long finish with dark honey, plum jam and cinnamon. Black pepper and slightly bitter oak continue on the tail for quite a while. Very appealing!
With water: Again very fruity on the nose with a touch of floral orchards and significantly less spices. There's more creamy fruitiness on the palate balanced with warm spices, leading to a smooth, creamy, sweet and long finish with a fruity touch on the tail. Very lingering.
Comments: Regardless of which Tawny Port Cask release from GD you have in a glass, they are all well made and delicious. The 18yo is a very complex, elegant, and well balanced whisky. Rich fruit characters blend quite well with the depth of the port cask and the intriguing warm oak spices. Very juicy neat with a creamy sweetness and less spiciness when diluted. A great whisky at a reasonable price.

 

I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.

GlenDronach 15yo, 2010, Moscatel Finish
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: European Oak, finished in Moscatel Wine Barrels

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Initially sweet and fruity with apricots, orange blossom, litchis and peaches. Lingering vanilla flavour and subtle toffee arrive with a touch of citrus and gentle marzipan in the back. Clean and syrupy with soft spice of oak and nutmeg. Smooth, oily and very pleasant.
Palate: Marvellously sweet and liquorous. Ripe and scented with tropical fruit, litchis, apricots and tangerines. Oily and creamy with vanilla's coming through, along with raisins and gentle oak spice, nutmeg and white pepper. A thick mouthfeel with a lingering nuttiness towards the finish. A beautiful potpourri of alternating waves of aromas.
Finish: A pleasantly sweet and nicely warm finish with medium length. Sticky fruit jam, raisins, subtle banana and lingering heather honey. A bit drier on the tail with a prickling spicy edge of oak, nutmeg and a whiff of pepper. Smooth and pleasant.
With water: Water tames the fruitiness both on the nose and palate with significantly more spices coming through. Creamy with a wonderful texture. The finish is medium long with fruit and a sligtly more herbal spiciness on the tail.
Comments: A lot is going on here! A lovely and well balanced mix of delicate aromas - tropical fruit, intense sweetness and warm spices. Incredibly sweet, creamy with a fine texture. A quite satisfying dram showing the non-sherried face of GlenDronach. A malt to savour!

 

I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.


GlenDronach 19yo, 2015, Madeira Cask Finish
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: European Oak, finished in Madeira Hogsheads (3,111 btl.)

 

Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Initially sweet and fruity with ripe gooseberries, green apples, carambola and citrus. There's this delicate Madeira flavour, complemented by lingering toffee and fine butterscotch notes. With time, gentle spice arrive with oak, pepper and a whiff of cinnamon. Smooth, soft and very pleasant.
Palate: Less sweet than the nose promises. But an extraordinary fruitiness with ripe gooseberries, apples, oranges and lemons mingles with delicate caramel, toffee and golden barley. This is well rounded with a slightly floral touch and warming spice of oak, caramelised ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. Fine wood notes and hazelnut tones linger towards the finish. A beautiful potpourri of aromas.
Finish: A pleasantly long, sweet and nicely warm finish with sticky blossom honey and a prickling spicy edge. A touch of oranges and red berries with a subtle hint of bitter oak on the tail. Very smooth.
With water: The fruit's getting fresher on the nose with delicate honey and vanilla. There's also more fruitiness on the palate, complemented by lots of sweet barley sugar, vanilla and toffee, with a vibrant and spicy touch. Water shortens a bit the finish with a gentle spiciness of oak and pepper, leaving sticky and sweet blossom honey on the tongue. Very delicate.
Comments: A very well made whisky - simply stunning. Full, rich, and superbly balanced with a harmonious composition of ripe summer fruits and vibrant warm spices. A delightful malt, very aromatic with a robust depth. Improves even more with a splash of water. A malt to savour.

 

I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.

GlenDronach, Peated, 2015, Distillery Bottling
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Ex-Bourbon Barrels, finished in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks


Colour: Bright gold.
Nose: A pleasant aroma of malted barley, custard, and vanilla fudge, complemented by subtle fruity notes of gooseberry, raspberry and a slightly sourish touch of lemongrass. This is all covered by delicate peat reek giving the malt a discreet character of smouldering wood. With time, lingering oak spice emerges with gentle cinnamon in the back. An amazing nose!
Palate: Sweet, malty and slightly fruity on the palate with a lingering and pleasantly warm note of crisp oak spice, white pepper and nutmeg. Subtle peat flavours complement the palate by giving a smoky barbecue note and a slightly dry feeling. Towards the end, delicate vanilla cream flashes up with a whiff of barley sugar.
Finish: A long, sweet and nicely warm finish with plenty of malted barley, stewed fruit, sticky dark honey and a smooth peaty edge. A touch of buttery notes and smoked oak on the tail.
With water: There's more vanilla coming through with a slight touch of peat smoke in the back. Stays sweet on the palate with delicate red fruit, oak spice, white pepper and lingering peat. Still warm and pleasant. Water shortens a bit the finish with caramelised fruit, crisp oak, cinnamon and pepper. Warm and vibrant.
Comments: I must admit that I wasn't expecting too much. The first ever peated GlenDronach, in contrast to the traditional, non-peated character of one of my favourite distilleries? But boy, I am impressed, very impressed indeed. This gentle and by the way not at all medicinal or pungent peat smoke works pretty well with the delicate sweetness, gentle fruitiness and spiciness of this delightful whisky. A very enjoyable dram which improves even more in the glass if you let this one rest for a bit. I need to get my hands on a full bottle of this beauty.


I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.


GlenDronach 8yo, The Hielan', Distillery Bottling
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Bourbon and Sherry Casks


Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: Very aromatic nose with loads of butterscotch and toffee notes, complemented by vanilla fudge. Very buttery indeed. Then fruit emerges with mirabelle, yellow plums and oranges, along with plenty of citrus peels. It has a floral and perfume-like side which is rather unusual for GlenDronach. Overall this is a fine nose though.
Palate: Bold and very sweet with crisp malt, porridge, butterscotch, toffee and vanilla biscuits. There's a hint of white pepper with some nice gingery notes and a slightly bitter aftertaste with almonds and walnuts. Very malty with lots of caramell sticking to the teeth. I can't taste any sherry here maybe due to the heavy load of malty flavours.
Finish: A medium long and nicely warm finish with a hint of sherried fruit (here it is!). A touch of grassy tones with ginger and oak spice on the tail.
With water: More sweetness is coming through both on the nose and palate with malt, buscuits, vanilla fudge and lots of toffee. The finish still is medium long with a slightly spicy edge. No sherry flavours at all.
Comments: Certainly a dram which polarises the GlenDronach whisky appreciating community. On the one hand, this is a fine, well made and characterful entry level malt with delicate vanilla, malty and toffee notes. On the other hand, however, it lacks some brightness and obviously some sherry flavours GlenDronach whiskies are usually famous for. I feel a bit disappointed as I very much like the pleasant sherry-based matrix of GlenDronach bottlings. Nevertheless, a nice and reasonable priced every-day dram.


I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.


GlenDronach 8yo, Octarine, Distillery Bottling
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Bourbon and Sherry Casks


Colour: Bright copper.
Nose: Very pleasant and rich on the nose with dark cherries, rum soaked raisins, orange zest and lingering sherry flavours. Creamy custard arrives with toffee and butterscotch notes. There's gentle spice in the back with oak, a hint of wood polish and cinnamon.
Palate: Sherry and dried dark fruit - dates and raisins in particular - are present in abundance. Rich and creamy with delicate toffee and lingering vanilla. This is followed by a lovely spicy touch of oak, nutmeg and cinnamon. Dark chocolate coated oranges emerge with a delicate whiff of marzipan and walnuts in the back. Delicious!
Finish: A medium long, sweet and warm finish. Very mouth-coating with dark dried fruit and buttery toffee. Turns into slightly bitter flavours of black tea, dark chocolate, nutmeg and lingering oak spice with delicate walnuts.
With water: Water tames the sweetness, lightening up the flavours with the bourbon influence coming to the fore. There's increased spiciness and earthy notes on the tongue with more alcohol coming through. But still rich, intense and quite lively. The finish is medium long, warm and fruity with prickling oak spice.
Comments: A rich and complex dram. Not a sherry monster as one would expect as the bourbon casks bring in some clean and light notes of creamy vanilla, toffee and butterscotch which lift the mood. An excellent example of a savoury whisky with a stunning balance. Appears to be much older than just eight years. A lovely start into the large GlenDronach whisky range, wonderful quaffable, simply great. Unfortunately, this beauty is no longer part of the distillery's current portfolio.


I thank The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd. for the photograph.


Glendronach 12yo, 2015, Officially Bottled for Professional Danish Whisky Retailers
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery (bottled for Professional Danish Whisky Retailers)
Cask type: Oloroso Sherry Casks (3000 btl.)

 

Colour: Bright golden.
Nose: First there is gentle sherry on the nose with a heavy and complex fruity note. Lingering vanilla emerges, complemented by a touch of citrus notes. Yellow ripe fruit arrives with time, banana and yellow plums, along with creamy vanilla. Becomes fresher and more fruity on the nose with subtle milk chocolate in the back.
Palate: Deliciously sweet on the palate with vanilla and lots of delicate yellow fruit, plums and banana in particular, followed by a pleasant load of warming spice - cinnamon, nutmeg, gentle oak and a hint of pepper. A touch of barley with lingering citrus notes in the back.
Finish: The finish shows good length with warming spice, a touch of nuttiness and lingering milk chocolate on the tail.
With water: Now there is more sherry flavour coming through but also an increased spiciness on the nose, while the palate still shows a good balance of fruit and this delicate mix of pleasant spices with marzipan in particular. The finish is medium-long with prickling and warming spice.
Comments: This is a well-crafted whisky, no doubt. The fruitiness and especially this delicate mix of winterly spices play a dominant role here while the sherry influence is noticeable but significantly reserved. A polarising dram I think. The sherry aficionados will miss the heavy sherry load being characteristic for most of the GD bottlings. So do I. On the other hand, however, this dram is a pleasant example for a lighter and more fruity style of GlenDronach with significantly less sherry influence showing more distillery character. But that's only my two pennies worth.

 

I thank Marko Kiele for sharing a sample with me and for the photograph!


GlenDronach 31yo, 2012, Grandeur Batch No. 3
ABV: 45.8%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Oloroso sherry casks (1109 btl.)


Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: A tremendous potpourri of dark ripe fruits, dates, figs, rum-soaked black cherries and raisins is immediately present. Lingering sweet and rich sherry aroma, complemented by sticky toffee pudding and a fresh whiff of creamy balsamic vinegar. Polished furniture, sandalwood, bitter dark chocolate and dried tobacco leaves emerge with time and interact with sublime smoke and gentle oak spice. A gorgeous nose and an addictive sniffing dram.
Palate: Nicely mature dark fruit on arrival. Big and intense palate. Very creamy, smooth even velvety with delicate rich old sherry flavours. There's significantly more dark chocolate present, as well as mocha and espresso tones. This is complemented by lingering nutty flavours, toasted almonds and walnuts, along with pleasant and typical Glendronach earthy notes and a touch of flintstone. A perfect harmony of fruit, chocolate and earthy notes.
Finish: Long, sweet and warm. Lingering sherry notes, roasted almonds and walnuts on top of richer, dark fruit notes and a lovely mocha aftertaste.
With water: A bit more vibrant with an increased freshness on the nose. Creamy, sweet and fruity with lingering sherry, lovely nutty flavours and a creamy mocha finish on the palate. Delicious.
Comments: Wow - what an amazing dram. A real stunner! This is what mature sherried whisky should taste like. Perfectly balanced, rich, complex with a gorgeous nose, an outstanding palate and a beautiful finish. To me, this is heaven in a glass and very seductive!


Thanks to Simon Woelke for the photograph!


GlenDronach 31yo, 1978-2010, Single Cask Batch No. 2
ABV: 51.2%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Oloroso sherry puncheon (#1040, 645 btl.)


Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: Wow! This is very elegant and smooth with classic sherry influences, a lovely potpourri of dark ripe fruits, rum soaked raisins, dates and figs, Demerara sugar, and Christmas cake. A dense, luscious, and nutty nose which is very savoury and attractive.
Palate: A massive hit of sweet candy, red fruit, dates and dark cherries, complemented by Demerara sugar and rich orange. Dark bitter chocolate flavours emerge which align perfectly with lingering walnuts, a subtle herbal note, maybe juniper, and gentle oak. A bold and intense palate.
Finish: A long and warm finish with plenty of liquorice. Gets drier in the end with strong espresso tones, oak wood and lingering walnut. Very pleasant and mouth-coating!
With water: There's more creaminess on the nose with lots of sherry and ripe dark fruit. The huge and hot palate is tamed slightly with water. The finish is long and still warm with a lingering nuttiness. Dangerously quaffable.
Comments: A huge dram! The typical sherry flavours shine through all the way with great elegance and complexity. This is a well-balanced whisky not overpowered by the wood. A fantastic and extraordinary dram to sip and relax. Perfect!


I thank the GlenDronach distillery for the photograph!


Glendronach 12yo, Dumpy green bottle, imported by Ruffino
ABV: 43%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Distillery (bottled for Ruffino Import, Pontassieve)
Cask type: --


Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Very fruity start on the nose with pear, pineapple, quince, citrus, pink grapefruit and lots of gooseberry, along with a delicate touch of vanilla. There's also a certain earthy tone coming through, mouldering wood, complemented by a slight smokiness. Very impressive and fascinating.
Palate: Sweet and creamy on the palate with delicate ripe yellow fruit, such as quince, pear and gooseberry, complemented by sticky tones of plum marmalade and dark honey. There's an immediate overlay with warm and intense spice, cinnamon and pepper, before plum marmalade and ripe red apples complemented by a touch of smoke takes over. A beautiful interplay of the various aromas.
Finish: A long, sweet and warm finish. Spice, fruit with a touch of smoke and peatiness in the end. Delicious.
With water: There's more freshness on the nose, with lots of fruit, creamy sweetness and prickling spice (cracked black pepper and cinnamon) on the palate. The finish is long, still warm with this certain touch of peat and smoke.
Comments: This is an old style Glendronach. Very nice and delicate with lots of fruitiness and a beautiful touch of smoke and peat. A big one - rather unusual compared to the distillery bottlings nowadays. Quite an impressive experience!

 


GlenDronach 20yo, 1989-2010, Single Cask Batch No. 3
ABV: 53.5%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Pedro Ximinez sherry puncheon (#3833, 679 btl.)

 

Colour: Full gold with orange notes.
Nose: The nose starts off with a huge portion of classic PX sherry, figs, dates, rum soaked raisins, coated with dark chocolate, Demerara sugar, and crème brûlée. This lovely sweetness is complemented by full earthy aromas, the GlenDronach typical flintstone touch, along with lingering walnuts.
Palate: Yes, this is bold and intense with rich sherry flavours, sweet dark fruit, raisins and dates, along with delicate Demerara sugar and lingering walnuts. With time, the sweetness is displaced by earthy notes and bitter dark chocolate, even espresso's coming through. Mouthfilling!
Finish: The finish is medium to long and dry with lots of bitter dark chocolate, espresso and lingering nutty flavours.
With water: Water tames the fruity sweetness and oak spice comes to the fore. It's creamy with a lingering nuttiness on the palate, followed, however, by a rather short finish.
Comments: This is a delicate dram of Glendronach's extraordinary vintage single casks bottled at full strength. Rich, bold and intense with full of PX sherry flavours, lingering nuttiness and delicate earthy tones. Very complex, best to enjoy neat. A perfect back from a cold night out whisky!


GlenDronach 20yo, Tawny Port Finish
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Finish in Tawny Port casks


Colour: Reddish dark amber.
Nose: A big nose with stewed dark fruit, plums, along with treacle, toffee and a whiff of sulphur in the background. There's a lot of wine aroma complemented by sour red currant and a touch of green grape. This powerful nose varies from lovely sweetness to sourish flavours and wine aroma with a hint of luscious marzipan coming through. A gorgeous nose!
Palate: Liquorice, fruit cake with an intriguing balance between succulent peach and a tangy mix of spice, along with slightly bitter orange peel. The spice has this vindaloo type power on the midpalate before purple plums take over. Still warm and mouthfilling. Again a delicate crossover of fruity, spicy and bitter flavours. Long and lingering.
Finish: A very warm and medium to long finish with delicate bitter orange peel, a hint of sulphur, not unpleasant at all, and roasted almonds. Very intriguing!
With water: Creamy fruitiness with a fresh acidity. Still powerful on the nose. Water delays the "shock" of spiciness coming through. Bold and intense, tangy with a delicate touch of bitter orange peel. The finish is long with lingering plums and nuts. Delicious!
Comments: What a dram! This is complex, well integrated and balanced with an amazing alteration of fruity, spicy and bitter flavours. An intense, bold and spicy whisky on the midpalate integrated in luscious fruit. Adding some water is a real adventure! Unfortunately, this one is very hard to find, but worth every penny. Watch out for this one!


I thank Thorsten Niesner for the photo!


Glendronach 22yo, 1990-2012, Old Train Line, Jack Wiebers
ABV: 52.3%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Jack Wiebers Whisky World
Cask type: Very dark sherry cask (#3058, 399 btl.)

 

Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: The nose immediately starts off with a huge amount of sweet sherry, complemented by deep aromas of cherries, prunes, raisins, and fruit cake with subtle nutty flavours and lingering dark chocolate. Very pleasant, intense and complex.
Palate: Oh boy, this is sweet and bold! Rich sherry flavours along with Demerara sugar, dates and raisins. Very creamy with lingering winter spice on the midpalate. With time, some nice earthy tones come along with subtle dark chocolate. This one is thick and coats your mouth velvety.
Finish: A very long and warm finish. Gets drier in the end with lingering winter spice, cinnamon and gentle marzipan, complemented by a long nutty aftertaste.
With water: Soft, round and mellow with a delicate creamy sweetness, fruits and sherry. The finish is spicier with lingering oak tannins. Very delicate.
Comments: This is a superb whisky. Sweet, soft and very well-balanced. Rich, intense and complex on the nose and palate. A complex and luscious dram to be enjoyed both neat and with water, just as you like.


GlenDronach 18yo, Marsala Cask Finish
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: European oak, finish in Marsala hogsheads (2112 btl.)

Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: The nose is brimming with luscious fruit, red berries, gooseberry, physalis and hints of ginger and oak spices, complemented by a subtle sense of marzipan. Finally, a whiff of bitter orange marmalade along with underlying malted barley is coming through.
Palate: The initial sweet palate gives way to a ripe fruit bowl of flavours - orange zest, gooseberry, pink grapefruit and physalis. This is all balanced with luscious toffee, vibrant ginger, a hint of vanilla, oak spice and green unripe hazelnuts.
Finish: Relatively long, sweet and fruity, with lingering bitter orange peel before black cracked pepper takes the upper hand.
With water: There's a lot more fruit and sweetness with significant more nutty flavours complemented by increased oaky spice.
Comments: This is a nicely composed whisky. The Marsala finish works pretty well here and brings in some pleasant fruitiness. Not the most complex GlenDronach but with a luscious balance of sweet and spicy flavours. Perfect for an autumn day.


Glendronach 8yo, 2003-2011, Scotch Single Malt Circle (SSMC)
ABV: 56.8%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Scotch Single Malt Circle
Cask type: Sherry puncheon (#3999)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Starts a bit discreet yet shy, needs time in the glass. Sweet sherry shines through along with tropical fruits and a touch of peach. Lateron there is flavours of raisins, prunes, toffee and some butterscotch. The alcohol is very present but well-integrated. Rather complex nose.
Palate: Wow - sweet and intense! Rich sherry notes come along with the tropical fruitiness. Bold but soft and creamy. The sweetness along with crispy even prickling oaky notes result in a pleasant mouthfeel.
Finish: Warm with good length. Sweet and soft, almost silky with lingering tannins in the end.
With water: Oh yes, now this dram awakes with increased spice, leather, crispy tannins and lingering sweetness. Superb!
Comments: A delicious dram. Sweet and fruity with lingering tannins/oaky flavours. Quite complex considering its youth.


GlenDronach 19yo, 1994-2013, Single Cask Batch No. 8
ABV: 58.4%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Oloroso Sherry Butt (#101, 628 btl.)

Colour: Very dark amber.
Nose: Rich and thick with classic sherried notes: dark ripe fruits (mainly cherries), rum soaked raisins, prunes and dates. Lots of Demerara sugar along with dark chocolate, tobacco leaves, spice, and a hint of leather coming through with a whiff of burnt matches. Gorgeous nose!
Palate: Initial swetness with lots of sherry, Demerara sugar, and raisins. Turns into more spiciness (pepper, cinnamon) along with walnuts, dark bitter chocolate, black currant, and herbal notes. Bold, rich and delicate with lingering bitter orange zest and spice.
Finish: Quite long and sweet. Gets increasingly drier in the end with pepper spice, walnuts, leather, a touch of strong espresso with a whiff of bitter orange peel.
With water: Water tames the alcohol and turns the whisky into a soft and creamy one with liquorice sweetness, with a touch of smoke and earthy/dusty notes.
Comments: A big, bold and incredibly rich sherried single cask malt. Intense and complex with a perfect balance of sherry and spicy flavours. Brilliant nose and taste. Best to enjoy in front of an open fire.


GlenDronach 22yo, 1990-2013, Single Cask Batch No. 8
ABV: 50.8%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon (#2971, 604 btl.)


Colour: Burnt amber
Nose: Rich and thick. Muscular sherry character with rum soaked raisins, dates and figs. Dark ripe fruits, even marmalade. Old polished furniture with a hint of GlenDronach typical flintstone. Big and elegante. You can nose this all night long.
Palate: Oh yes! A massive hit of old matured sherry flavours, dark chocolate and lots of hazelnut and walnut. Round, thick, creamy and sweet with antique oak. Mouth-coating.
Finish: Long-lasting, sweet with lingering chocolate, even espresso, and walnuts. Again a hint of flintstone and dry old oak.
With water: Water tames a bit the liquorice sweetness and the intense sherry flavours. Gets drier with peppery spice.
Comments: A heavily sherried single cask malt but the oak is not overwhelming. Huge, thick with great complexity. A sensual nose with a big taste and everlasting finish. Another great shot from the distillery.


GlenDronach 33yo, 1971-2004, Oloroso Sherry Casks
ABV: 40%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Finest oloroso sherry casks


Colour: Dark amber/mahogany.
Nose: Oh my god, a lot of things are going on here. Very complex and rich with lots of old sherry, huge notes of dark ripe fruits, cherries and dates lying on a bed of spices derived from oak and cedarwood. Needs time to develop its full flavour spectrum. Changes to marzipan and leathery notes while breathing.
Palate: Meaty and spicy. Less sherry notes than one would expect from the nose. Instead cedarwood and spices (oregano?) are dominating here, followed by some sherry and marzipan. Somewhat bitter in the end like cold strong black tea.
Finish: A medium long and dry finish. Spices, dark chocolate and nutty flavours.
With water: Water would kill that one.
Comments: This is a malt to appreciate in an old brown leather chair in front of an open fire listening to classic music. The GlenDronach 33yo definitely needs time to develop and becomes rich, round and big. Old style malt you can appreciate all night long. Filled at higher strength might have beaten everything though.