After having recently had my socks knocked off by a couple of exclusive bottlings of GlenDronach I decided to revisit the core range. Glad for it too. “Revival”, GlenDronach’s new 15 year expression, is exactly what I’ve been looking for. A mid-price sherried malt that sparkles without the benefit of excessive aging (and the price that comes with it) or cask strength might (contrary to popular belief, I don’t always want that massive delivery).
To its credit this malt is still bottled at a respectable 46% abv. As I’ve been attempting to drill this home for some time now, I’d like to clarify a little here. Higher bottling strength (alcohol by volume, or ‘abv’) equals a deeper intensity of flavor. We’re not out to get soused here, folks…we’re looking for the proper form of delivery for so romantic a drink. Why dilute the magic?
At 15 years the malty cereal notes so prevalent in the 12 year old expression have all but disappeared. Instead we’re left with sweet Oloroso sherry and chewy toffee. Rich and creamy melted chocolate, lightly spiced orange, and fine threads of vanilla and oak are rounded out by a touch of dried cherry and tart plum. Delightful.
Though wickedly tasty in its own right, the nose is so much bigger than what you get on the tongue. How could it not be? By no means is this a disappointment…simply an observation.
It all ends on a high note, as the finish is unique and defining. The mildly peppered blackberry notes that linger are something that will keep me coming back to this one time and again. Doubtless, the best expression in the current range.
Shimmeringly beautiful. This one had me at ‘hello’.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt
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Out of town on business in Houston, I went to a liquor store (apparently formerly a grocery store) that had both sides of an aisle filled with scotch. Saw the GlenDronach Revival and immediately grabbed it (only one left!). I even passed up Ardbeg Day for a chance to taste this! Wow! What a great whisky! Paid about $85 with tax + $20 cab fare, but it was worth every penny. I have drunk 3/4 of it in the last 24 hrs and will finish it before heading to the airport tomorrow. This HAS to be in my cabinet from now on. I just have to figure how to get it at home. Do not pass this bottle by, especially as a summer treat! It is delicious! And I’m a peathead!
I’ve been considering this one for a while, Robert, and I’m glad to hear that it’s a quality product, both from the review and your comments. I would have had less hesitation if it was a Glenfarclas, as the sherry in the GlenDronach 12 seemed very middle-of-the-road to me – neither as sharp as the Macallan’s or as round and generous as the Aberlour’s. I’m more of a peathead as well, acquiring an appreciation for sherry, whereas my buddy, the Scotch Guru, was always a sherry fiend and now has a growing appreciation for peat. 15 years is one of my favourite ages – a nice compromise between power and maturity. The Glenfarclas 15 is very good as well, and I look forward to comparing it and the Revival. Sláinte!
3/4 of a bottle in 24h? Your poor liver. I think I’ll stick to my “liver limit” and dram on for many more years, rather than go out in a blaze of cirrhosis!
On average, I only drink two drams a day (doctor’s recommended dosage), but at conferences it is required to triple that. The motto at these is ” Meet, greet and drink!”. The one downside of drinking quality scotch is I never get a hangover. I also go a week or more without quite regularly. But i must reiterate that this whisky is fantastically good. Serge also gave it a 92, which for him means close to excellent.
Has anyone tried the 15 lately. With it going off market for the near future, I was thinking of picking one up. I actually slightly prefer the 18, but it’s about $30 more and not THAT much better. I’d heard quality was a bit lower in more recent bottles and I haven’t had one since a 2014 bottling.
Personally I prefer the 15 to the 18, but it’s been a while…