Wednesday, 13 December 2017

GlenDronach Trio

I'm ashamed to admit that I've never tried a GlenDronach whisky before.... I can't explain why, they just never came on my radar. So in an effort to clear some space in my sample box I've put together three of their whiskies that I've swapped over the last few months.

Thanks to @MaltMan_Mike for the 12yo & 18yo and @Whisk_Whisk for the 15yo - so a nice range of #dramples, what can I tell you about them?

@GlenDronach is a Highland distillery founded in 1826 and now owned by the BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd under Brown-Forman.

So on to the whiskies!

All of these are natural colour and non-chill filtered, matured in ex-sherry casks and you can immediately tell the age difference (left to right) as the colour becomes darker.

On pouring the drams my room immediately filled with the aroma of sherry!

Whisky : 12yo Original
Characteristics : 700ml 43% ABV Not coloured & Non-chill filtered
Price : £40 many outlets
Distillery info : "This superb richly sherried single malt is matured for at least 12 years in a combination of the finest Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. A sweet, creamy dram."

Colour : Deep Copper
In the Glass : Fast thin legs when swirled
Nose : Sweet sherry with orchard fruits and a little toffee. A bit of a burnt sugar note after a while.
Palate: Very smooth creamy, tongue coating little number! Lots of honey along with the apples and pears from the nose. This is joined by dried fruit and a little drying icing sugar. There is a little sweetness but not as much as expected. There's lovely spice notes and a hint of dark nutty chocolate.
Finish : A spicy drying finish with sherry tickling all the way down!

Whisky : 15yo Revival
Characteristics : 700ml 46% ABV Not coloured & Non-chill filtered
Price : Discontinued whilst stock matures
Distillery info : "Renowned amongst many whisky enthusiasts around the world, this remarkable and full bodied malt is matured for a minimum of 15 years in the finest Oloroso sherry casks. A truly excellent single malt."

Colour : Tawny
In the Glass : Slow thin legs when swirled
Nose : Quite different from the 12yo - there is hardly any sweetness but there is a distinct note of balsamic vinegar and again a little toffee but no apples or pears.
Palate: A much thicker mouthfeel than the 12yo, again honey but no orchard fruit - more dried raisins and sultanas, there's that drying icing sugar note and a loads of nuttiness. Some biscuit, chocolate and red berry notes but not much spice.
Finish : Again quite drying, the spice hits you now - a peppery chilli hit. again a hint of nuts along with the sherry. This is a much longer lingering spicy finish than the 12yo.

Whisky : 18yo Allardice
Characteristics : 700ml 46% ABV Not coloured & Non-chill filtered
Price : £75 many outlets
Distillery info : "Named after the renowned founder of the distillery, James Allardice. This exceptional sherried single malt is matured in the finest Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 46%, this sublime richly sherried malt is truly unforgettable."

Colour : Mahogany
In the Glass : Gravity defying very slow thin legs when swirled
Nose : Again a quite different nose - plums, rich dark chocolate and a lots of toffee. This develops with a fruit and nuttiness reminiscent of that well known chocolate bar! This one is very complex - there's also some plump juicy raisins bursting out of the glass.
Palate: Like the 15yo a thick mouthfeel, smooth and creamy and like the 12yo has a little spice. Not as much sherry as the 15yo, the oak has had a longer influence and is coming through a little more. There is a nutty note alongside the drying icing sugar. The spice, like the 12yo, is a little more immediate than the 15yo but is more intense - they obviously used hotter chillies in the recipe!
Finish : Very spicy, drying, oaky finish with fading sherry notes and a nuttiness.

Overall : After these three drams I needed to go and get a drink of water - my mouth was bone dry, all three had similar icing sugar notes which stole the moisture from my mouth.
They all shared an obvious sherry influence but I think that mellowed as the age increased and the wood had more of an influence. It's interesting that I didn't get the Christmas cake mix impression from any of them - they were sherried but not huge sherry bombs.
Personally I think they are all great whiskies, the 12yo has some lovely orchard fruit notes which alongside the sweet honey makes for a great east drinking dram. The 18yo was slightly better, it's older age giving a more spicy plate but I think the 15yo hits the sweetspot and the spice holding until the finish really impressed me.