Over the last year or so Glendronach has certainly gone into overdrive with the single cask releases, just as soon as they are announced then they are all gone, collectors, investors and drinkers all clambering over each other to get the vintages they want or even just a chance to bag any of what is on offer.. Price rises don’t seem to be stopping the chaos either but maybe that just tells us two things, firstly that the liquid inside is worth the price for those that want to drink to whisky and so the popularity is just going to keep spiralling upwards, secondly the second hand market for Glendronach is getting stronger and stronger so there will still be that tussle for bottles..
Unfortunately ( or not ) for me I am certainly one of those who love Glendronach and everything they Release always gets me buzzing and dreaming of what delights might be on offer, and I may not be able to get my hands on some of it due to price or availability but I certainly do my best.. So when the latest batch ( 16 ) of single casks was announced and the email came through announcing just what was going to be getting released you know I went into overdrive looking into what I could buy..
As luck would have it I was also offered the chance to review three of the casks released and even more lucky was the fact two of these are the casks I wanted !!
Most fans of Glendronach will know they use mostly Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry butts to mature most of the whisky produced but in the latest release there just happens to be a Port cask which I’m sure will be rather interesting.. But it is the Sherry casks that really show the character of the Distillery and that’s what really pulls on the heart strings with me.
Todays review is going to be a triple header and will hopefully show the price change and journey the whisky takes over the extra years of maturation.. All three expressions are matured in Pedro Ximenez and range from the 11 yo 2006 vintage through to the 28 yo 1989 with the simple matter of a 22 yo 1995 sandwiched in the middle..
The Glendronach 2006 vintage is the youngest of this release and is as mentioned an 11yo whisky and hails from cask #1979 ( bet that year would be an awesome vintage to try) bottled at 57.2% ..
Nose.. Vibrant and rich with masses of sweetness.. Molasses, dates and thick plum jam stewing on the hob.. Rich dark chocolate, candied orange, cherries, black treacle, cinnamon buns and delicate tobacco leaf..
Palate.. Pow.. This just explodes instantly, that plum jam is joined by figs, chocolate and those cinnamon buns before spices galore, sugar coated almonds, and Black Forest gateau all delight the senses..
Finish.. Warming and sweet..
Thoughts.. This has a wonderful feel to it, and although it is the youngest in the release it certainly holds up and offers some stunning aromas and flavours..
Next up is the Glendronach 1995, 22 year old hailing from cask #3311.. Bottled at 50.3% with a outturn of 518 bottles..
Nose.. Intense and sweet. This starts of with lashings of spices and dried fruits.. Dates, figs and sultanas lead into molasses, treacle and Black Forest gateau. Old leather, coffee and dark chocolate with ginger, cinnamon buns and rich sticky toffee pudding all sending the senses into a frenzy.
Palate.. Spices lead the way with all the sweetness the nose promised following closely behind.. This is just a barrage of flavours, the chocolate leads you into coffee grinds, dried fruits and tobacco leaf..
Finish.. Lingering spices, oak with a twist of sweetness.
Thoughts.. Simply devine.. One of the best 95’s I’ve had from Glendronach and I’ve had a few !!
So onto the Glendronach 1989, 28 year old.. Was 1989 really 28 years ago ? Surely that’s a mistake.. I’m getting rather old it seems.. ok I digress a little… This is from cask #5476 and has an abv of 49.9%, with an outturn of 546 bottles.
Nose.. “ o hello” This is subtle yet ever so inviting.. Dried fruits, figs, plum pudding, rich toffee sauce, espresso coffee, chocolate, walnut, candied orange, liquorice and cinnamon all show up to the show..
Palate.. Everything you want and more.. This comes alive and really shines.. Dates, raisins, plums, figs, cinnamon and tobacco have you giving into temptation while toffee, coffee, aniseed and almonds lead you astray.. chocolate and brandy snap with Black Forest gateau and a cherry on top to Finish it off in style..
Thoughts.. When you get the chance to drink something like this make sure you have the time to appreciate it.. This is a masterpiece, a work of art and something you need to dedicate your full attention too…
I have often described a whisky as seductive and a bit of a temptress but this is beyond that.. It is dark, moody and exciting all at the same time, subtle and full on, sweet and spicy.. “ You had me at hello”
This has style, it’s complex, deep and pretty close to my perfect dream dram..
Glendronach 2006,1995 and 1989 – batch 16..
Thank you Glendronach for three wonderful, unique and very individual samples that intrigued, delighted and satisfied..