GlenDronach’s Revival of Allergy

Do you remember that horrible childhood feeling when after waiting for Christmas through September, October, November and December the day finally came but you were so tired of all the anticipation that you just couldn’t enjoy it, no matter how hard you tried? I could not help but to feel this way when I finally got to taste the new GlenDronach releases on Thursday.

Or maybe I should say, this is my official justification of the fact that I didn’t like them an awful lot. I persistantly reject the thought that the new juice from the Sleeping Giant is actually average…

****

GlenDronach 15yo (Revival)
Highlands, Aberdeenshire
100% Oloroso sherry cask
46% ABV
Price: approx. £35

Colour: Bronzy copper

Nose: Dark treacle, caramel, creamy vanilla, strong lollypop sweetness and fresh wood shavings. Touch of peaches and marzipan with barely noticeable savoury tone.

Palate: Berries and dried fruit, dry salty oakiness. Full.

Finish: Developing and warming for a while with bitter-sweetness.

Overall: The influence of the Oloroso cask is too overpowering for my liking… but it will appeal to some. Meaty sweetie. Reasonable price.

Person: Jessica Simpson – annoying candy with an emphasis on candy.

****

GlenDronach 18yo (Allardice)
Highlands, Aberdeenshire
100% Oloroso sherry cask
46% ABV
Price: approx. £45

Colour: Identical to the 15yo

Nose: Buttery with pastry richness. Notes of honey and orange, Parma Violets and blackberries. Sadly all that is underpinned by the “S” word.

Palate: Nutty and spicy, surprisingly savoury. Cumin?

Finish: Again a bit savoury, notes of cheese.

Overall: Bigger nose than the 15yo, noticeably more mature. Unfortunately it represents everything I don’t like about sherried whiskies and does not show much of what I love about them. My heart is aching, I was expecting a lively younger brother of the superb GlenDronach 33yo, but these two don’t seem to know each other at all.

Person: O. J. Simpson – charmer with a dark secret and a sad finish.

Lucas

Comments

  1. I for one am a big big fan of the sherried whisky’s. I get a huge kick out of how the lovers of the none sherried whisky’s are first to criticize the highly sherried brands. Let someone who appreciates sherried whiskies do the talking for you. You’ll notice that all the top single malts are now ageing their malts in sherry casks…I wonder why this is, could it be that this rather fast growing part of the market is starting to catch on with the main stream drinkers including a large growth in women customers?

  2. Hi Merse,
    Thank you for your opinion. It’s great that you like your sherried whiskies! Unfortunately you are wrong about a few things.
    1. Neither Chris nor I have anything against maturing whisky in sherry casks. You probably don’t remember our review of The Macallan 18yo (the ultimate sherry monster), it’s a good example.
    2. Why would we let someone else do the talking for us? Only because we don’t like something? We build this website on honesty and if we are not impressed with a whisky, we write about it. This is the beauty of not being sponsored or dependant on the industry’s big players in any way. We will never question your right to your opinion, so please don’t question ours.
    3. Top Scottish single malt distilleries do age small proportions of their spirit in sherry casks. But the trend is rather opposite to what you think it is. Distilleries using 100% European casks (like GlenDronach) are scarcer than hen’s teeth these days and most of them will switch to American casks at some point. And 100% sherry cask bottlings still in portfolios of the big boys are now being made somewhat exclusive, often offered at cask strength with no age statement, which is not very main stream at all.

  3. I am a big fan of the sherried whiskies also.
    End I find the 18 year old really good. My bottle is almost empty and I am going to buy a new one this weekend.
    The 15 year old is nice but not as good as the 18 I find.

    I didn’t try yet the 33 year old and the new 12 year old(I have a bottle of each) so it’s difficult to compare. But I am going to try the single cask “versailles”(16 year old).

    I am really enjoying the products of glendronach and hope they will continue this way!

    I don’t know what the old macallan look like but the 10 year old cask strengh is really an impressibe stuff, one of the best young sherried malt i had the chance to drink. Maybe a little bit too powerfull(and I am not talking about alcool here but taste).

    MARS

  4. Love sherried whiskies, but really good ones have become rare and eye wateringly expensive, so I don’t tend to sample them much anymore. Merely good peaty stuff, beats merely good sherried stuff, hands down for me.

    The 1972/37 yo Glendronach however is right up there with the Glendronach 1968/25 yo that showed up in duty free fleetingly a few years ago. The dram of a lifetime for people who enjoy old dark rich sherry turned up to eleven.

    The 1972 is much much better than the 33 yo that has been doing the rounds. Take out a mortgage if you have to for one of the few hundred bottles. It is far too good to leave gathering dust in an ornamental collection.

    Haven’t tried the new Glendronach 15 yo, but the 18 yo has all the distressing straw flavour qualities of modern sherried Macallans. If you’ve picked up one by accident, vatting with something more enjoyable is the best way out.
    There hasn’t been a really good new sherried Macallan at an accessible price since the Gran Reservas.

  5. Some fair notes (from the examples I’ve tried) from the new Glendronach range at:

    http://www.whiskynotes.be/category/glendronach/

  6. I have to agree that the single cask 1972/37 years(cask 719) is really incredible. One of the best sherry whisky I have ever try. Well worth the money, maybe I am going to buy another bottle but it’s still really expensive.

    The glendronach single cask “versailles” is really impressive also. It makes me think at the macallan 10 years CS with more complexity.

    MARS

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