Glendronach The Kingsman 1989 29yo

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Following on from the first collaboration between Glendronach and The Kingsman movies back in 2017, the two companies have once again teamed up to celebrate the release of the next instalment of the franchise, The King’s Man, which is due out in early 2021. This new film will allow audiences to discover the origins of the ‘very first independent intelligence agency’, and is set during World War I. The whisky launched to mark the release of the film is a 29yo expression, which pays homage to the earliest bottle currently housed at the distillery; a 29yo whisky which was bottled in 1913, just before the outbreak of the Great War.

The story behind the bottle is remarkable in itself – three friends had each purchased a bottle before leaving for the war, vowing to open them together on their return. Tragically, only one of them returned home. Having never opened his bottle, his family later gifted it to the distillery, where it remains unopened and displayed in remembrance of fallen friends. The new whisky, The Kingsman Edition, is initially matured in oloroso sherry casks before being finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, is bottled at a cask strength 50.1% ABV, and is limited to 3,052 bottles.

Kingsman Film Franchise Director, Matthew Vaughn said: “There is an important line which says, “Reputation is what others think of you, character is what you are”. Strength of character and dedication to upholding the highest values perfectly encapsulates the true spirit of both the Kingsman agency and The Glendronach Distillery. I hope Kingsman fans around the world will enjoy this Single Malt as much as I enjoyed partnering with Rachel Barrie and The Glendronach to create it.”

Dr. Rachel Barrie, Glendronach Master Blender, commented: “Working closely with Matthew, I have selected casks of the most exceptional character for this rare 1989 Vintage. This expression is deep in meaning, paying homage to fallen friends who bravely fought during WWI, and the depth of character and integrity shared by both The Glendronach and the Kingsman agency. This is none other than a whisky truly fit for a King’s Man.”

Glendronach The Kingsman
1989 Vintage
29 years old
3,052 bottles
50.1% ABV
£775 RRP

Nose: Intensely bold, with sticky dates, blackcurrant ganache, prunes, sweet liquorice, and orange oils. Under the fruit there’s caramelised walnut, coffee grounds, cacao nibs, and polished mahogany. Savoury notes of heavily spiced chutney and mixed charcuterie add balance.

Palate: Fantastically velvety and mouthcoating, with macerated Morello cherries, vintage sweet vermouth, dark treacle, rum soaked raisins, and a touch of molasses. Then there’s teak, sweet leather, herbal tinctures and some sweet cough syrup.

Finish: Mocha, rum truffles, and dunnage warehouse. Some Black Forest fruits too.

Overall: Glendronach spirit. Tick. Excellent quality sherry casks. Tick. Lots of time. Tick. Despite always keeping an open mind when approaching a new whisky, there’s a distinct air of inevitability when those three things come together in my glass. The balance between the rich fruit, warming spice, unctuous savoury notes, and firm oak is fantastic. Quite a lot of sherry matured whiskies of this age can become rather drying and tannic after spending so long in contact with the wood, but the wood influence here is surprisingly, and delightfully, restrained. The price tage will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows, but it’s not too much higher than some of Glendronach’s single cask releases of similar age and vintage, and the presentation (which, with new releases, generally doesn’t faze me but I need to mention it here) is beautiful. I’ve somehow managed to refrain from drinking all of the PR sample I was sent – roll on February 2021 so I can enjoy another dram of it as I watch The King’s Man.

 

 

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