Nov 132019
 

Sean Russell has tasted a quartet of GlenDronach single casks bottled for Abe at The Whisky World shop an online shop with two physical locations in London. We’ll be reviewing all four casks together in this one post.

We’ll take them on one cask at a time….

Photo Credit: The Whisky World

GlenDronach 19 Years Old 1994, Cask #279, Pedro Ximénez Sherry Puncheon, Specially bottled for The Whisky World (52.1% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance:  Mahogany. Thin oily legs cling to the glass.

Nose:  Wine & spirit (but no spirit-burn on the nose at all) Very immersive on the fruit-front (baked apple, pears, dark berries) Nutty toffee, maple syrup, grapes, slightly grassy and some pepper.

Palate: Medium sweetness with a peppery delivery on the tongue and roof of mouth. Like some others, it has a dry-flinty taste that’s supported by the influence of PX sherry. It’s also quite nutty. There’s the faintest hint of ash on the exhale.

Finish: Long, with a sweet-dryness and warm pepper tingle.

Water adds… dark cherries and a bit of polish on the nose, honied sweetness and more ash on the palate. 

Conclusion

This particular GlenDronach definitely blossoms with the addition of some water. Undiluted, the palate doesn’t quite hold up to the nose, but the addition of a few drops of water really does bring it to life.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: The Whisky World

GlenDronach 20 Years Old 1994, Cask #3199, Pedro Ximénez Sherry Puncheon, Specially bottled for The Whisky World (56% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance:  Mahogany. Thin oily legs cling to the glass.

Nose:  Lots of tart and stewed cherries, cake mixture, tinned pears in syrup, dark PX sherry, sticky ginger cake and a sour wine.

Palate: Lighter in the body than expected, fresh ginger heat, dryness, flinty-matchstick element with a little sulphur, biting liquorice, burnt sugar, light oiliness, Woody-dryness with some oak bite. The sherry definitely comes through on a wave of sweetness, but is masked slightly by the alcohol and dryness.

Finish: Long, with a burnt sugar bitterness and light oily coating.

Water adds.. Vanilla and sponge cake on the nose, more sweetness and pepper on the palate.

Conclusion

Classic GlenDronach and big. Those who like their more “raw and traditional” sherried single casks from GlenDronach will really like this. It’s a proper dram to get into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: The Whisky World

GlenDronach 23 Years Old 1993, Cask #641, Pedro Ximénez Sherry Butt, Specially bottled for The Whisky World (53% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance:  Dark Mahogany. Slow, oily legs creep down the inside of the glass.

Nose:  Deep & rich grape juice mingles with old dark PX sherry that’s been sat in the glass for a while. There’s warm milk chocolate, plump raisins, and a bold fruity boozed-spiked sherry trifle. A fabulous nose where you can just hold the glass in your hand and sniff the liquid for ages without needing to take a sip.

Palate: Rich and thick with an oily viscosity.  Initial deep sweetness on the tongue turns to dryness on the side and roof of the palate. Held in the mouth for a few moment, a dusty ashen and slight spent matchstick note appear. The swallow confirms this.  It isn’t a heavy sulphurous or nasty rubber taste, but more of a drying coating with notes of a freshly struck match with some cigar tobacco. But it’s well behaved and not ruining the show. The sweetness stays and gives up to tinned prunes, caramel, raisins & dried fruit, and some chocolate sauce. The matchstick element does keep bobbing in and out but isn’t overshadowing anything.

Finish: Long, with a sweet ashy-meatiness.

Water adds… More fruit and floral toffee on the nose, nuts on the palate. There’s less of the matchstick now. The finish reveals a wine note with slight sourness.

Conclusion

If you don’t mind a slight matchstick element to your whisky, then you will absolutely love this.  For me, if that extra note wasn’t there, this would be an absolute bombshell of a whisky. However, it’s still lovely. And that nose…

 

 

Photo Credit: The Whisky World

GlenDronach 25 Years Old 1992, Cask #83, Sherry Butt, Specially bottled for The Whisky World (49.8% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance:  Deep walnut. Thin oily legs.

Nose:  Beautifully sherried on the nose with deep fruit, and a mellow-polish edge. Vanilla pods, fruit compote, blackberries, toffee, milk chocolate, and dessert-sweetness.

Palate: Much drier than expected with lots of woody tannins. The sweetness that I was hoping for appears to hold itself back and can’t compete with the dry woody-bite.  There is, however, a lovely ashen note with some gritty flint.  A second and third sip does reveal a little more sweetness, but it’s fighting a losing battle with the bitter tannins. Dark chocolate, coco powder, and black coffee appear.

Finish: Long, with a dry-bitter sweetness akin to a very high coco-content dark chocolate.

Water adds… Even more dryness on the palate with a slight white pepper-tingle on the tongue.

Conclusion

I personally think this was left in the cask for too long as it does taste a bit too over-oaked for my liking.  However, that’s just my palate speaking.

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