Google Glendronach 21 yo, a dissection

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

March 31, 2018




Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Glendronach 21 yo: A dissection. Plus bonus.
Another of these wee investigations into the evolution of a specific official bottling. Made possible thanks to the generosity and commendably geeky determination of a fellow whisky enthusiast. This sort of session can be fun/frustration and/or illuminating/baffling. Let’s see what we will find. I should say, I generally enjoy the official 21 yo Glendronach, on the occasions in the past when I’ve tasted it.


Glendronach 21 yo (48%, OB, ‘Parliament’, 1st release, 2011) Glendronach 21 yo (48%, OB, ‘Parliament’, 1st release, 2011)
Colour: Amber. Nose: A nicely stodgy nose at first, a thick morass of prunes, date puree, wet earth and treacle. Some dark chocolate, a hint of dusty dryness, some graphite oil and a very lightly mineral edge. Good. Perhaps a little honey and some strawberry liqueur with time. Mouth: Drying at first, still quite earthy, pleasantly herbal, a touch sooty and gravelly as well. Some more dark fruits, a few sultanas and also quite a bit of meatiness: cured meats, game, oxo granules. Finish: Medium length with a lingering earthiness, some orange peel, cloves and a little dried tarragon. Also a nice peppery bite in the aftertaste. Comments: Good, solid, muscular sherried whisky.
SGP: 452 - 86 points.


Glendronach 21 yo (48%, OB, ‘Parliament’, 2nd release, 2011)
Colour: Amber (a notch darker). Nose: Breadier, more chocolatey and slightly more towards Demerara rum and wet leaves. Some cocoa, tapioca pudding and a slightly greener, fruitier aspect. Some plum jam and dried apricots. Still pretty earthy overall as well. Mouth: A more resinous, nervous sherry. Still earthy, chocolatey and peppery but also with a little espresso and roasted nuts. With time some dried mint and cranberries. Finish: Longer and earthier and broadly more spicy. Some red fruits such as glazed cherries and dried cranberries again. Comments: I prefer this one a notch over the first one I think. It’s got these typical earthy Glendronach qualities but it’s also a little rounder, fresher and perhaps just more easy.
SGP: 452 - 87 points.



Glendronach 21 yo (48%, OB, ‘Parliament’, 3rd release, 2012)
Colour: Amber. Nose: Veering back towards austerity again this time, some agricole rhum,  a little grass, some pollen, plenty earth and bitter chocolate, date-ridden muesli and milky cocoa. Also some cinnamon and nutmeg. There’s a touch of balsamico and raspberry jam as well. Mouth: Some fudge, wet earth, hessian, soot, a little wax, some green tea, lemon skins, walnut oil, more muesli, freeze dried strawberries and again a little dustiness which recalls the 1st release. Finish: Long, all on herbal bitters, dry earth, dark chocolate, some dried mushroom powder and a few dark fruit jams. Comments: Same quality as the second one I feel but also somewhere between the first and second in terms of character. Although, there really isn’t too much between them all. Probably a slightly silly session I suppose, but then again, this is Whiskyfun is it not?
SGP: 452 - 87 points.



A wee bonus...



Glendronach 25 yo (41.2%, Cadenhead’s Original Collection, 1990s) Glendronach 25 yo (41.2%, Cadenhead’s Original Collection, 1990s)
Based on the stocks that other bottlers had around this time and when this series was being bottled, it’s likely that this is either a 1970 or 1972. However, if anyone knows better, please do tell me... Colour: Deep bronze. Nose: What’s striking is how the overall profile of roasted nuts, earth, chocolate and dark fruits is quite similar but the depth and concentration of the aromas is unequivocally more intense and integrated into a more thrilling whole. Wee tertiary notes of salami, very soft peat, maraschino cherry, old fashioned cocktail, mineral oil, coal heaths and very old balsamico. There’s also a rising rancio note and notes of old cognac, raisins and cinnamon dusted banana cake. Mouth: Although the strength is pretty light it’s full of red fruits, muscovado sugar, brown bread, olive oil, rancio, old oloroso sherry, a little black pepper and some mint tea. Devastatingly quaffable juice. Finish: Long, resinous, earthy, full of high quality dark chocolate, frehsly roasted coffee beans and more notes of glazed cherries and dark fruit compotes. Comments: It’s a rare dram in that it combines some pretty high-intensity sherry characteristics with freshness, lightness and supreme drinkability and pleasure. To think indy bottlings such as this were once pretty standard fare...
SGP: 563 - 91 points.







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