Here we have a review of the new GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 by Sean Russell, our resident GlenDronach maven.
Another long wait of nearly 15 months for the latest edition of the Cask Strength series, and we were all wondering what the delay was.
But it’s now finally here so we’re all anticipating whether it’s going to be worth the wait and a success or a disaster. And given the reception that batch 7 received, this one must be feeling quite nervous about walking out into the arena. Are the Lions going to be set forth on it?
GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 (61% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Medium ginger. Long & thin fast oily legs.
Nose: Sour wine and faint pear drops. The sherry is quite light & dry with some warming brown sugar and fresh sawdust. There’s also some soft malt and a slight damp grassy note in the distance. The longer it sits in the glass and breathes, more fruity notes appear with some coco powder. Little to no alcohol burn whatsoever, which is astonishing given this is rocking up at a huge 61% ABV.
Palate: Thick, sweet, and rich, with a peppery kick. It’s pulling no punches with the roundness of flavour that’s verging on honied. Now the ABV becomes apparent as once the palate is covered with that richness of sherry, the 61% strength kicks the door open and squares up to you – but it’s not aggressive or overpowering and it works in great partnership with the flavour. Pepper and fresh red chili continue to tingle the tongue, but are mixed with that river of thick rich and quite heavy sweetness . It’s not all alcohol and burn-burn-burn as you might expect. There’s lots of sherry, marmalade, hot raisins and rich syrup. Once the alcohol has dissipated, the sweetness left on the palate becomes more bitter and leaves you wanting to put glass back to your lips again.
Finish: Long, with sweet red chili oil and salted caramel ice cream… Very moreish, and quite dangerous.
With water… peanut brittle and woodiness on the nose, less sweetness and increased dryness on the palate.
Bang on, and back to what me, as a GlenDro-nut, wants in a bottle from the Cask Strength series. It’s giving a solid delivery in-sync with what some of the previous releases were like. Brimming with flavour and oomph, it bridges the gap between the core range and some of the single casks. It is also most definitely more enjoyable and immersive without water.
Forget batch 7. It’s about Batch 8 now. I’ll be buying a grown-up size bottle of this.