First Impression: SMWS 96.1 Glendronach

[54.9%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1971・Bottled in 1991・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release]

When I saw Mr. Yeo having this 20 year old Society GlenDronach the other night, I told myself this would have to be one of the drams I must sample during my stay in Singapore; and to my fellow sherry heads, here’s my one line summarythis really is as good as it gets.

Almost immediately, the old school sherry notes render your senses captive. Any form of resistance to doubt the greatness of the dram is futile. Old mahogany with a gorgeous aroma from freshly brewed red tea. Rich in flavours but it’s not over the top with the mellowing incense note. A brush of aged balsamic giving the dram a wee acidity followed by that unique cheese note from a spectacular Oloroso; with some wine tannins and a faint whiff of wood smoke in the background. Pure excellence.

Sticky and spicy beyond expectation even for a sherry bomb. The Oloroso influence acts like a dynamite here, powerful and explosive, bursting with flavours that takes the palate on an exhilarating drag race in a turbo-charged ride where everything starts happening after a split moment of anticipation, resulting in mind-blowing explosiveness. Christmas cakes and maraschino cherries with an old European wordiness that acts as fuel to give the dram another surge in vibrant flavours; notes of ginseng and berries intermixed with just a touch of premium soy sauce.

The finishing however merely adds a fragrant touch and there is a feeling of incompleteness.

It’s really a shame that there’s a minor let down but the finish is perhaps a victim of the nose and palate being near perfect.

Still the dram really is a revelation, it cannot be a more stark departure from GlenDronachs distilled in early 1990s, some of them can come across as being slightly dirty. To pay the highest compliment possible, this is old school Macallan on steroids.

☆☆

-Nicholas