GlenDronach 18 ‘Allardice’ Review

GlenDronach 18 ‘Allardice’

46% abv

Score:  88/100


Another far-more-than-decent dram from GlenDronach.  Once you get past the rather lackluster 12 y.o. gateway expression in the line-up the sky is the limit with this distillery.  It’s easy to overlook the odd soft ball from this distillery when the vast majority of their output is rather spectacular.

If opportunity (and income bracket) allows…do meander off the beaten path with this distillery.  Their single casks are often spectacular and much of their old stock is utterly magic.  But let’s stick with the standard range here, shall we?  As I mentioned above, the 12 year old is merely ok.  The 15 however, is a true diamond.  One of the best young whiskies out there.  The 18 then must be even better!

Errrr…not really.  Wait…what?  Gotta be honest.  This 18 is a sweet-spot dram for me (i.e. it is right in the wheelhouse of perfect ageing), but just can’t pip the 15 for vibrancy.

Allardice has a nose of heavy sherry, beautifully softened by age, rich in cherry and cocoa. Spicy notes of cinnamon and gingerbread meet thick ropes of vanilla and a slight yeastiness.  Very pleasant.  Backstopping all of this is a profile typical of sherried malts; pungent fruitcake, mild cigar leaf and deep plumminess.  A warm, comforting nose to be sure.

Touchdown on the palate is led by a slight bitterness, similar to tannic wine.  It develops into heavy raisin bread and mouthfuls of rummy fruitcake (a cop out tasting note, I concede, but an accurate reflection nevertheless).  Ginger too.  And cherry.  Quite drying.  Lovely…but (and not something you’ll hear from me often) maybe the barest hint of sulfur???


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

6 thoughts on “GlenDronach 18 ‘Allardice’ Review

  1. Robert

    I have been comparing the GlenDronach 15 and 18 HTH for about nine months and can’t quite decide which one I like better! Both excellent whiskies, but with a significant difference in nose, palate and finish. The 18 is more like a Dalmore with its darker and deeper fruit flavors. The 15, like you said, is more vibrant and has lighter fruit. Hmmmm! Gotta give them both 90.

  2. Robert

    Better grab some GlenDronach (& Benriach) off the shelves. Brown-Forman has bought them out. Next we will see cinnamon and honey flavored NAS GlenDronach “Fire” and “Buzz” which will actually be 4 YO.

    1. Brent

      While I always try to give the benefit of the doubt I readily confess this has me terrified. GlenDronach is far and away my favorite distillery. BenRiach is right up there as well though I haven’t delved as far along their lineups. I acknowledge fully there are many whiskies that are much better than GlenDronach’s releases but they currently fit my wheelhouse to a T and the pricing is “reasonable” relative to many other distilleries.

      This has me nervous enough to try and stock up. I’ll be out in Calgary in May but will be flying so that will limit my return to 3-4 bottles. Going to have to see what other avenues I can exploit in the short term. Perhaps an overreaction on my part but the selection is so limited here in Winnipeg I don’t even know where I’d go next.


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