Glendronach Traditionally Peated

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Glendronach have released a new expression which harks back to the traditional practice of adding some peat into the kiln towards the end of the kilning process. For those of you who are big peatheads that may seem counter intuitive, particularly when you consider Laphroaig’s practice of using peat at the *start* of the drying process; at Laphroaig peat is used for the first 17 or so hours of the 30-ish hour drying period. Using peat right at the start of kilning, when the barley is at it’s wettest, allows the barley to absorb more of the tarry, medicinal, phenols from the fuel. So what happens when you add peat into the kiln much later? Well, adding it at this point gives the barley a sweeter, earthier, more aromatic smokiness, as the barley will be low on moisture at this point, and unable to hold on to some of the thicker, ashier notes coming from the peat. The result in a nutshell? A softer smoke.

Glendronach Master Blender, Dr. Rachel Barrie said of the release: “The Glendronach Traditionally Peated offers connoisseurs a rare opportunity to explore the distillery’s rich depths of sherry cask maturation, whilst paying homage to the robust peat-smoked earthy character of the early 19th century, that James Allardice himself would likely have enjoyed.”

Let’s see if I enjoy it.

Glendronach Traditionally Peated
Pedro Ximénez, Oloroso and Port casks
48% ABV
£51 RRP Coming Soon

Nose: Singed heather, smoked dark chocolate, sweet soot and charred twigs. Underneath there’s blackberry, Black Forest Gateaux fruits, orange marmalade on toast, and some manuka honey.

Palate: Much more fruity on entry, with orange peel, juicy cherries and sultanas, smoked apricot, and toasted currants. Some clove and nutmeg too, along with dusty dark chocolate and some black tea and a touch of tobacco leaf.

Finish: Those rich, juicy fruits linger, with romantic smoke and some charred wood.

Overall: For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this whisky to be as well balanced as it was. That’s not to say I was expecting an unbalanced whisky, but I was genuinely surprised at how integrated the smoke, fruits, and oak influence were. Perhaps I was thinking the smoke would be too weak to hold up against those sherry casks, but I was wrong. Flavour-wise, this dram will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people, and with a relatively friendly price point it’s hard to find a fault here. Really rewarding stuff.




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