Oh man…how we’ve waited for this one.
If ever there were a possible contender to knock Aberlour a’bunadh off its pedestal and steal the title of ‘favorite young cask strength sherry bomb’…this would have to be it. Affordable, immense and immediately endearing.
GlenDronach is doubtless one of Speyside’s finest distilleries. Their output is almost uniformly high…they produce some exceptional young whiskies…and further…their older whiskies are among the best available. More on the older whiskies in other reviews though. We’re here for a young’un today.
This expression is set to be small batch release type whisky, much like the aforementioned a’bunadh. 12,000 bottles in this case, and all sold out within three weeks. Impressive start. The folks at GlenDronach must surely feel a sense of justified vindication. This whisky is a mix of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez matured malts. Yep…very sweet, as to be expected. Age? Who knows. Youngish though. And that works.
I should note here…it’s nice to see GlenDronach following on the heels of Auchentoshan and others in acquiescing to consumer demand and offering up that bold flavor stroke of cask strength and non-chill-filtered. Not that we ever really worry about a lack of flavor from GlenDronach. Excepting their 12 year old flagship expression, their releases are all 46% or higher. Brilliant! We’re not greedy or anything; we simply understand that alcohol is the vehicle for delivering flavor. A simple equation: higher alcohol = bolder taste.
Complex dram, this. And very impressive. Give yourself a fair bit of time to work through this one. It will continue to unravel as the clock ticks, releasing a swirling eddy of nuances. These are the fun sort of whiskies we love; multi-dimensional, deep and thought-provoking.
From this humble reviewer to Billy Walker et al…many thanks. Keep up the great work, folks. Looking forward to batch 2.
Nose: Cherry and strawberry jam. Orange marmalade. A hint of mint and pepper. Chocolate. Very sweet. Spicy, but I think a tad less heavy-handed on the spices than the afore-mentioned a’bunadh. Dried fruits covered in crystalized sugars. The soft smell of suede.
Palate: Juicy at first, but slightly tannic and quick drying. A little pithy and rich in high content cacao. Maraschino, dark dried fruits (raisin, plum, fig) and hints of old Demerara. Again…very sweet. Into tobacco and damp woods. Now the spices are nipping at the tongue. Long and long and long. A finish I’m very fond of.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt