Google Glendronach, seven by seven, part uno

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

August 28, 2017


Glendronach, seven by seven, part uno

My dear grandmother used to say that that “abondance de biens ne nuit pas”, which means that plenty is no plague. That’s certainly the case with Glendronach, thanks to their numerous single cask expressions that one can find, well, just anywhere, from Hong-Kong to Buenos Aires. Quite. A few examples? Better get ready… And as we do more and more often, we’ll do them randomly, carefully avoiding the very old ones, which we’ll have much nearer to Christmas. But we will start this with a little apéritif…

Glendronach 8 yo (45.7GL, OB, German import, +/-1972)

Glendronach 8 yo (45.7GL, OB, German import, +/-1972) Five stars We all know these old dumpies could be just stupendous, don’t we… Colour: pale gold. Nose: iron and mangos, old copper coins and passion fruits, the softest sultanas and the most wonderful papayas. Not much to add, this is as glorious as expected. Mouth: difficult to describe. Imagine some kind of healthy juice containing avocado juice, mangos and papayas, drops of seawater, a touch of cough syrup, and really a lot of Timut pepper. That’s it, Timut pepper! Some kind of ueber-tertiary evolution for sure. The strength is perfect. Finish: long, and always on Timut pepper, but if you do not know what it is, Timut pepper is one of the fruitiest peppers there are. It’s great with prawns/crab and grapefruit, but I digress… Comments: one of those bottles that anyone should have bought at auctions fifteen years ago. OMG they were cheap! SGP:562 - 90 points.

Glendronach 12 yo ‘Original’ (43%, OB, +/-2016)

Glendronach 12 yo ‘Original’ (43%, OB, +/-2016) Three stars A rather affordable expression we’re following very often. Colour: gold. Nose: raisins, fruity hop, ale, apple pie, overripe pears, and very ripe damson plums, or rather those excellent tartes made thereof. I used to find a little menthol in Glendronach 12, but not this time. Mouth: good malty/raisin arrival, rather tenser than other official Glendronachs, with more fruity/malty ale, roasted pecans, and touches of liquorice roots. Less dry than earlier expressions, I’d say. Finish: rather long, and rather on oranges and raisins. Cloves in the aftertaste. Comments: I find it a little smoother than usual, but maybe am I getting tougher. Of course not. SGP:551 - 82 points.

Glendronach 14 yo 'Virgin Oak Finish' (46%, OB, +/-2016)

Glendronach 14 yo 'Virgin Oak Finish' (46%, OB, +/-2016) Two stars We did try it when it first came out in 2010, and thought t was okayish (WF 78). Isn’t it funny that while the older distillers used to claim that Scotch and new oak just couldn’t work together, they’ve almost all got some virgin oak these days? Colour: gold. Nose: well, it is a little plankish, with some sawdust, cinnamon, nutmeg and indeed quite some vanilla. Funny hints of redcurrants in the back, where do they come from? There’s a marginally oloroso-y side too. Eh? Mouth: no, it’s too woody for me. A feeling of having forgotten your tea in the teapot. The day before yesterday. A lot of oak pepper. Finish: long, acrid, very oaky. That would be green oak. Perhaps oranges in the aftertaste, but that’s too late. Comments: really not my cup of tea. Precisely, tea! SGP:371 - 72 points.

Let’s get serious…

Glendronach 21 yo 'Parliament' (48%, OB, +/-2016)

Glendronach 21 yo 'Parliament' (48%, OB, +/-2016) Four stars Colour: amber. Nose: some class and classy dry sherry at first, with roasted pecans and caramelised walnuts as well as various raisins, from the palest to the darkest. Behind that, stewed peaches and apricots, plus a little pipe tobacco. One of those whiskies that are getting real close to cognac. Mouth: perhaps just a little winey at first, and quite peppery at that. A feeling of peppered arrak, sour apples, and cardamom. Then the usual raisins and prunes, plus marmalade. Perhaps a tad simple, as if some finishing had been done on it. Not too sure… Finish: rather long, on sour fruits, pepper, and prunes. Green pepper in the aftertaste, with a feeling of dry old Pauillac. Comments: rather fine, just not too complex. And quite easy on the fruits. SGP:361 - 85 points.

Glendronach 12 yo 2003/2015 (56.1%, OB, for Sansibar, Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon, cask #4630, 375 bottles)

Glendronach 12 yo 2003/2015 (56.1%, OB, for Sansibar, Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon, cask #4630, 375 bottles) Four stars and a half I’ll say it, I like the oloroso-ed ones better than their PX-ed counterparts. But you never know… Colour: deep gold. Nose: well, it’s a rather oloroso-y PX, if that’s possible. Walnuts, chocolate cake, Ovaltine, earl grey tea (a strong one), and funny whiffs of rose petal and chamomile teas. A touch of turpentine. Oak essence? With water: date liqueur, figs, sultanas, brioche… Mouth (neat): really lovely. Mentholated dried figs and eucalyptussy raisins. I do enjoy this kind of combination that would cure your… cough. With water: really excellent now. Lemon zests, raisins, more figs, and more dates. Finish: long, with this rather wonderful zestiness that really lifts it. So to speak. Comments: I could sip this while watching Breaking Bad. SGP:551 - 89 points.

Perhaps another 2003 (randomly, he said…)

Glendronach 13 yo 2003/2016 (53.9%, OB, for The Duchess, virgin oak hogshead, cask #1751)

Glendronach 13 yo 2003/2016 (53.9%, OB, for The Duchess, virgin oak hogshead, cask #1751) Four stars Another finishing, I wager. Colour: gold. Nose: it is sweeter oak this time, with the anticipated (well, expected) vanilla and rather a lot of herbal teas, from the usual chamomile to verbena. Plus maple syrup, roasted raisins, and just all-flower honey. Warning, water may totally change it, in my experience. With water: it rather does, with more banana skin and other fruit peelings. In short, it gets drier. Mouth (neat): really good, easy, with some vanilla and lemon balm, candied grapefruit, and perhaps dried apricots. With water: more sawdust – nothing abnormal -  and banana/lemon. Typical, and rather good. Finish: medium, with a little more sour wood. Not sure you should water this one down. Comments: not bad at all for virgin oak. Not quite some lumberjack whisky! SGP:651 - 85 points.

Glendronach 19 yo 1995/2015 (54.2%, OB, for Whiskybase, Pedro Ximenez puncheon, cask # 3804, 694 bottles)

Glendronach 19 yo 1995/2015 (54.2%, OB, for Whiskybase, Pedro Ximenez puncheon, cask #3804, 694 bottles) Three stars Lots of bottles, that’s a real puncheon. Colour: amber. Nose: there. Age does matter. More complex, with some coffee, tobacco, damp earth, old leather (grandpa’s bomber in the attic), garden peat, barbecued steak, cigars… This, I really like. PX, really? With water: cigars! Wee whiffs of manure, soy sauce, beef stock… Mouth (neat): the sweeter side, but it does work, despite a few unnecessary asperities here and there (right, it’s a little rough). Marmalade, sour fruits, chlorophyll. With water: sour bouillons, green tannins, and a feeling of crunching lime. Not sure it swims too well, it becomes a little acetic and aggressive. Finish: rather long, good when naked, odd when reduced. Comments: water is your enemy this time, however unpleasant that might have seemed to dear Fela Kuti. SGP:452 - 82 points.

This is the end of Part One. See you soon with seven more Glendronachs. Or fourteen. Or twenty-one. Or more. We’ll see what we still have…

(Thank you Angus)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glendronach I've tasted so far






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