Cask strength sherry bombs have become quite the bon-ton in recent years, as a plethora of lovely expressions have become perennial favorites of maltheads. The Glenfarclas 105 (with 20 and 40 year old variants), Aberlour a’Bundha (going on its 50th batch), Glengoyne Cask Strength (currently on its second batch) and the GlenDronach Cask Strength (the Springbank 12 Cask Strength might have qualified had it been a sherry bomb like the 15 year old, but it mixed ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks), have taken their place on the best seller lists.
All four expressions are NAS (the Glengoyn only as of recently, its predecessor, the 12 year old was reviewed here), which has not prevented their ascendence to prominence, proving that NAS expressions can work for special expressions ALONGSIDE a solid core range of age stated high quality expressions. The concept of an NAS core has yet to be proven, with Macallan going on an all-or-nothing gambit to test the viability of removing age statements altogether. So far, I have only tasted the Macallan Gold, and must say that I was quite “underwhelmed” by it.
Anyway, back to the GlenDronach Cask Sterngth. The current batch is batch 3, for which no outrun size was provided (batch 1 included 12,000 bottles and batch 2 had 16,500). Like the 12 Year Old, the Cask Strength is a mix of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Casks, with the bulk of it being Oloroso casks.
GlenDronach Cask Strength, Batch 2, 16,500 bottles (55.2% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearence: Light bronze, slow legs form with many droplets remaining on the glass.
Nose: Dusty library, leather, sandalwood sweet spices, dried fruit from a compote, sherry notes, balsamic vinegar and barlymalt sugar. Water brings out more maltiness and sweet spices.
Palate: Thick and mouthcoating even after the addition of water. Spice, dried fruit and malty sweetness with notes of cinnamon.
Linger: Long, delivering a lingering sweetness on the tongue with a spicy linger at the back of the throat.
Cask strength sherry bombs have become quite the rage over the past few years, and the GlenDronach expression plays the game as well as anyone.
In this blog I’ll do a (blind?) head-to-head comparison of the four leading Cask Strength sherry bombs on a future post, but there is no doubt that this expression is a definite contender for the top spot.
And I wish to thank Ran for sharing this dram. Slainte!
Note to GlenDronach Afficionados
The series on Glendronach is not finished, rather it is going into a short hiatus. This series was planned for late October, and several of the other expressions that were supposed to be part of the series were not sampled yet. As I write this, six further expressions are making their way to Malt and Oak HQ in Tel Aviv (including two very non standard 8 year old and 16 year old expressions) and the tasting notes will be posted as the samples arrive.
Tomorrow, for only the second time, I have a VERY special blend lined up.