Whiskyfun
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December 22, 2014


Whiskyfun

Four Glendronach, one old glory

A rather 'traditionnal' session, we've often done this, always with pleasure.

Glendronach 12 yo 'Sauternes Finish' (46%, OB, 2014)

Glendronach 12 yo 'Sauternes Finish' (46%, OB, 2014) Three stars and a half I find it fantastic that the good people at Glendronach know how to spell Sauternes. I wouldn’t say all Scottish distillers and bottlers know that, how many ‘Sauterne’ have we seen? Colour: gold. Nose: not the usual Glendronach, as you may have guessed. I find slightly sour grapes and raisins – not a bad thing – and then rather mirabelles and apricots, as well as a little honey and chamomile tea. I don’t find many spices, so not sure this was actually French oak. It should have been, but I don’t find any evidence. Mouth: nah, this works. Same ripe mirabelles and apricots, quinces, then more and more custard and plain vanilla, which, indeed, rather hints at American oak. A little porridge, perhaps. Also honeysuckle and light cinnamon. Finish: good length, rather on soft and rounded Christmas spices. Sweet gingerbread. Greener spices and strawberries in the aftertaste – maybe it was French oak, after all. Comments: very well composed, the wine doesn’t clash at all. It’s not even too Sauternes-y. SGP:541 - 84 points.

Glendronach 18 yo 1995/2014 (52.2%, OB for The Whisky Agency, oloroso sherry puncheon, cask #4408, 740 bottles)

Glendronach 18 yo 1995/2014 (52.2%, OB for The Whisky Agency, oloroso sherry puncheon, cask #4408, 740 bottles)Five stars Colour: reddish amber. Nose: want chocolate? And prunes? Black raisins? A little chalk? Blackcurrant jelly? Granddad’s old moist pipe tobacco? Salmiak? With water: earth, mushrooms, pot-pourri, leaves… Mouth (neat): it’s quite funny that while PX is supposed to be much sweeter than oloroso, Glendronach’s whiskies that were recasked in oloroso can actually be pretty sweeter than those that were recasked in PX. Well, what I wanted to say is that this one’s rather sweet, almost jammy (plums and strawberries). Leather and coffee in the background, the coffee tending to come to the front, which makes the whole drier. With water: excellent! Not all sherry monsters swim well, but this one could cross the Atlantic. There’s more pepper for sure. Finish: quite long, this time more on tobacco and bitter oranges. Pepper and caraway in the aftertaste. Comments: no dissonances, perfect sherryworks, excellent selection. SGP:562 - 90 points.

Glendronach 21 yo 1993/2014 (52.1%, OB for Whiskybase, oloroso sherry butt, cask #23, 681 bottles)

Glendronach 21 yo 1993/2014 (52.1%, OB for Whiskybase, oloroso sherry butt, cask #23, 681 bottles) Four stars and a half Colour: dark amber. Nose: it’s drier indeed, starting right on chocolate and coffee. Warm coffee dregs, then some kind of fruity liqueur, hard to describe. Could that be Parfait Amour? (which is some kind of orange liqueur anyway, despite the unnatural purple colour). Also whiffs of soy sauce, which I always enjoy mucho. With water: as often, it’s the earthiness that comes out more. Mouth (neat): sweeter than expected. Very sweet, in fact, but balance is kept. Cointreau and Kahlua, fifty-fifty. Are we 100% sure it was oloroso? Or was it sweetened oloroso? Also a little oregano, pepper and chives. With water: always this feeling of spiced jam and liqueur, but that works very well. Hot chocolate, orange liqueur, Italian hazelnut liqueur, a drop of Jaeger. Okay, okay, Jaegermeister, not Jaeger-Lecoultre! (oh c’mon, S.!) Finish: good length. It’s really all ion spiced chocolate and Cointreau. Cloves and cinnamon in the aftertaste. Comments: appropriately Christmassy, I’d say. And excellent once again. Aren’t they masters at ‘this’? SGP:652 - 88 points.

All right, a last one, and not one of these ubiquitous-yet-excellent new OBs…

Glendronach 17 yo 1979/1996 (51.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #96.3)

Glendronach 17 yo 1979/1996 (51.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #96.3) Five stars One of the early Glendronachs by the honourable Society. It’s called ‘Inspiration for the future’. I’m joking. Colour: red mahogany. Nose: typical older hyper-sherried Glendronach, this time with a lot, I mean really a lot of gunpowder, then soy sauce, then dried porcinis, then cigars, then Spanish ham (bellota stuff, you know), then Cointreau-in-coffee. With water:          almost sublime, with parsley and beef bouillon. Chives, more parsley, marrow soup… Magnificent, really. Mouth (neat): huge, fat, sweet, and yet balanced arrival, ridden with all kinds of raisins. So sweeter than expected after the nose, with also big notes of sugared mocha, Cointreau again, then more spices and leather to keep it afloat. Pepper and ginger first, then cinnamon. With water: exceptional. Sweet, spicy and meaty, this is some kind of royal Tai dish. Finish: long, a little sweeter again. Traditional rancio and old Malmsey, I’d say. Comments: restless and even a little challenging, at times, but stunning with water. A great precursor and a kind of ‘hidden gem’. Great selection by the SMWS, truly a benchmark. SGP:562 - 93 points.

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

(thank you Phil, merci Simon)

 

 

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