Dram Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask Aged 20 Years (Cask No. 33)

[59.1%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1993・Bottled in 2013・Official Bottling Specially Selected for AbbeyWhisky.com・Cask No. 33・Single Cask Release of 592 Bottles]

Nose:

Bright prunes, thrilling menthol with just a hint of meatiness. Sticky Christmas cake with maple syrup poured all over top and served with strong red tea.

Palate & Finish:

A bread pudding richness concentrating on vanilla and raisins with some of the raisin skin bitterness as well as dried orange slices, maple infused honey and ample of leathery notes and oak tannins sipping through.

The creamy tail becomes earthier, woodier, with cinnamon and poached fruits.

Thoughts:

This is my idea of a hometown comfort feed at its heartiest, I got started early on with a GDSC and I am still quite fond of a 93115 with this sort of delivery, it is what it is, and for me there is always a time and place for a dram like this, just makes you warm and fuzzy.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Kinko GlenDronach 1994 18 Years Old

[55.3%・18 Years Old・Distilled in 1994・Bottled in 2012・Kinko Bottling・Cask No. 2002・Single Cask Release of 234 Bottles]

Nose:

Leather, coal and Sherry. Meaty toffee and immensely powerful, cherry liquor poured over chocolate mousse and dressed with toasted almond flakes.

Palate & Finish:

Sticky and savoury on the palate, soy sauce and burnt toffee making up a heavy assault of savoury meatiness full of umami with an intense aftershock of earthy molasses.

The earthy and smoky vibe continues, salt-roasted almonds drenched in coffee syrup with the oiliness of the spirit lingers on.

Thoughts:

Wooahhh what a fierce dram, it’s so different, I can’t put my words around it but I imagine it would be immensely satisfying having a hearty pour of this over a thick, fat cut of steak

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask Aged 23 Years (Cask No. 40)

[58.5%・23 Years Old・Distilled in 1993・Bottled in 2016・Official Bottling・Cask No. 40・Single Cask Release of 584 Bottles]

Nose:

Quite provocative with a deep perfume note, acai berries, red cherries and red oak, creamed honey with a bright ginger-y zing.

Palate & Finish:

Bursting of maple syrup and simmering strawberry jam, seasoned with just a pinch of cinnamon with a creamy beeswax follow through.

A nicely delivered Oloroso tail of stewed fruits, lengthy and warming.

Thoughts:

A Jane Holloway kind of red.

☆ [Recommended]

Thank you Clifford brother..

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask 1992 Aged 27 Years (Cask No. 5850)

[54.5%・Distilled in 1992・Bottled in 2020・ 27 Years Old・Official Bottling Specially Selected by GAS (Glendronach Appreciation Society) & AbbeyWhisky.com・Cask No. 5850・Single Cask Release of 625 Bottles]

Nose:

An arousing swirl of buttery chocolate pudding, Vienna almonds, Turkish delights and egg custard, served with toast generously brushed with blackcurrant jam and salted toffee sauce.

Palate & Finish:

Instantly gratifying with a tight squeeze of plump prunes, earthy espresso beans frenching juicy dark raisins.  Ripe figs glimmering in golden honey followed by even more dark fruits.

Cinnamon sugar, dried fruit peels with a slightly leathery aftertaste.

Thoughts:

Turns our it has been a year and then some months since my last piece on a GlenDronach, and I am glad I am writing about this one, a proper Christmas themed Sherry bomb; actually reminding me of my first encounter of a great GDSC all those years ago, was it a 93115? I am not too sure anymore, I think this may just be better. Truly well picked, as someone who is still looking to bottle a proper Sherry cask, I am jealous.

Probably my favourite whisky bottled in 2020 so far, almost three stars in my book.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Silver Seal GlenDronach Special Bottling 22 Years Old

[52.1%・22 Years Old・Distilled in 1990・Silver Seal Bottling・Cask No. 6921・Single Cask Release of 628 bottles]

Nose:

A heavy dose of leather and tobacco.  There is an alluring perfume note that lies underneath the vanilla.

Subsequently followed by an addictive dose of European oak with some sticky orange preserve surfacing.  Ripe plums with dark chocolate nibs sprinkled on top with the smoked barley to round things off.

Palate & Finish:

Big delivery of bright orange marmalade, the acidity mixes well with the chewy oak influence.  A creaminess follows along with a generous pinch of cinnamon.

Citrus and dark cherries balance well with the oak gradually fading into the background.

Thoughts:

A loud dram but for me this is just excellent.  It is what makes GlenDronach amongst the most addictive of Sherry Houses.

That wee unbalance is what makes it such an indulgence..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Cheers Mr. Bailey for the dram, good times my friend.

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask 1996 Aged 18 Years #1487

Style: Dark Fruits and Nutty Malt

Nose:

Dark plums and prunes waking up from slumber, while perfumed malt latches on a dominant and dry peppermint spice. Cranberries dragged downwards by weighty dark chocolate, toffee and espresso sediments. Coal ambers, maybe a faint layer of peat as well? A rich and surprisingly dry aroma, and the sweetness oscillates in and out nicely. Interesting.

Palate:

Dark fruits injected with amber coal heat. Cranberries, black currants and red cherries safely anchored onto a heavy layer of earthy liquorice and rich dark chocolate sauce. Nutmeg, tobacco leaves and almonds scattered around coffee beans, still getting a residue of peat here. Quite a round and deep expression. Amaretto-infused malt occasionally go off the script, oatmeal reduced into powder form at the back end.

Finish:

Strawberry jam lightly spread on a freshly baked Kurtosh. Chocolate and delicious sherry fruits gather and push for a nice finish.

Thoughts:

Cherry sweet GlenDronach lined up in a rather deep, round and rich formation. A pretty-dark fruit core anchored tightly onto an even heavier layer of dark chocolate and coffee, which is cleverly counterbalanced by strong coal fire heat, peppermint spice and other drier facets of the spirit. Although personally I feel the nutty malt feels slightly isolated at times, nonetheless this PX runs a delicate yet sonorous line, quite an interesting dram.

☆ [Recommended]

[54.1% Original Bottling / 1996 Distilled / 2014 Bottled / Aged 18 Years / Single Cask / Cask Number #1487 / 545 of 677 Bottles / *]

Esmond

Dram Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask Aged 21 Years (Cask No. 475)

[56.4%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1993・Bottled in 2014・Official Bottling Specially Selected for The Nectar and La Maison du Whisky・Cask No. 475・Single Cask Release of 627 Bottles]

Nose:

Prunes and blackcurrants, coal smoke, tobacco and tar with dark chocolate running along, drawing out some earthy and woody notes as a wee nutty note also enters the background.

Palate & Finish:

Dried blueberries and sticky toffee, sweet oily mouthfeel followed by the oak led leather, together with sprinkles of ginger and nutmeg.  The mid-palate coveys some almond chewiness that grows a tad bitter.

Long, lasting, chocolate, coffee beans, fares oaky.

Thoughts:

For me, this is a familiar GDSC that would make one smile, I find the darker and earthier profile quite attractive but I suppose this may come across as a bit rough for some..

☆ [Recommended]

P.S. Cheers Clifford for the wee dram, it’s much appreciated.

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask 2005 Aged 12 Years #1451

Style: Fruity and Vibrant

Nose:

Christmas cake and figs lying neatly alongside with malt biscuits. Banana gummies, black currants ride on an elevation of floral notes. Peppermint and black pepper forming a nice edge. The Pedro Ximenez influence is not strong, it is not a full-on sherry bomb like most GDs, and we get to see a pleasant display of the distillate. Surprisingly nice.

Palate:

Vibrant, fruity notes with black currant candies falling onto the palate. Here comes the sherry wave – walnut, figs and Christmas cake. The spices is being a bit naughty here and went overboard with the heat. Peppermint staying sharp, and we have malty notes waiting on the other side. Polished oak and armchair notes to finish.

Finish:

Red currants lollies staying on, just a touch of vanilla and more fruit gummies waiting at the end.

Thoughts:

A rather vibrant dram. Not your usual PX sherry bomb, especially when the spirit has more chance to speak in this dram. A tad too young and spicy, but I don’t mind a curve ball GD every now and then.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[56.1% • Original Bottling • 2005 Distilled • 2017 Bottled • Single Cask •Batch 16 • Aged 12 Years • Cask #1451 •Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 322 of 698 Bottles • Matured in Pedro Ximenez Puncheon • t]

-Esmond

Dram Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask Aged 21 Years (Cask No. 5405)

[49.9%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1991・Bottled in 2013・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release of 702 Bottles]

Nose:

There is a dusty feeling, earthy with a condense reduction of simmering strawberries and prunes conveying that stickiness.  A certain smoky note amidst things with a brush of mint accompanying the syrupy aromas.

Palate & Finish:

Strawberry cubes but quite peppery and spicy, this dram extracts quite a lot of sweetness from the PX cask, chocolate and oak with some leather arriving late.

The sweetness stretches on.

Thoughts:

On paper this should be something I would rather enjoy: 49.9%, 21 years and Pedro Ximénez cask matured but alas this single cask didn’t quite pend out as well overall as I’d hoped..

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

P.S. Cheers Clifford for the wee dram, it’s much appreciated.

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 16 1993 Aged 24 Years #55

Style: Sherry Sweet and Spicy

Nose:
A relatively tight nose to begin with, but when it cuts through the spice we have beautiful assorted red fruits, red currants, a touch of resin and grassy notes. Flicking to the drier side from time to time, dusty and earthy notes laid on top of a deeper layer of stewed fruitiness.

Palate:
Round red fruits rolling on the palate. Black currants with all sorts of sherry goodness. Yum! Chocolate, blood oranges, a sturdy, spicy backbone with searing ginger and dry spices scattering around. Almonds and tobacco leaves growing at back palate. Finish with a touch toasted oak.

Finish:
Sherry fruits back paddling, malt with soft grassiness. Quite nice.

Thoughts:
I was told that this is matured in an Oloroso butt, but I wonder why it doesn’t say on the label anymore? Elegant sherry elements tied around a spicy backbone, maybe 93 Glendronach is really something after all. Although the tug of war between sherry and spice might indicate a lack of integration in some aspects, nonetheless a pretty decent sherry GD, especially after you let it breathe for a fair bit of time.

[Recommended]

[56.7% / Original Bottling / 2017 Bottled / 1993 Distilled / Single Cask / 327 of 567 Bottles / Cask #55 / Matured in Sherry Butt / *-]

-Esmond