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

October 20, 2023


WF's Little Duos, today thick Glendronach

I should have done a much larger session but we're pretty busy with another fab flight of legendary old malt whiskies for Whisky Magazine & Fine Spirits… And we are a little late (but fear not, dear Editor-in-Chief)…

(Tang Frères)



GlenDronach 'Cask Strength' (59.8%, OB, batch 11, 2022)

GlenDronach 'Cask Strength' (59.8%, OB, batch 11, 2022) Four stars
We are really behind schedule; the last CS we tasted was the batch 7 from 2018, which had rather disappointed us (WF 74). One thing may explain the other... Now batch 5, for example, had been lovely (WF 86). Colour: gold. Nose: spicy earth, loads of chocolate, fruit peel, leaves, ale, clove, bitters, damp wood and just autumn leaves after a week's rain. Old stump and mushrooms. With water: gets even drier, earthier, with a rawer mineral side. Really a walk in the woods. Also cinnamon tobacco. Mouth (neat): bitter oranges and ale, plus a lot of maraschino and chocolate, Jaffa cakes, pipe tobacco... Looks like it's back! With water: sweeter, but with a spicy edge that we enjoy. Earthy deep-dried orange zests, old raisins, bay leaves, bitter chocolate… Finish: long, with some menthol coming through and more tea tannins in the aftertaste. Marmalade as the signature. Comments: rather a rough stone, but there's a lot happening. Looks like the bitterer batch 7 was an accident.
SGP:561 - 85 points.

What we don't know is whether there was still some 'direct-fired' GlenDronach in that batch. I'd remind you that the distillery stopped using direct firing in 2005. So, some direct-fired GlenDronach…

GlenDronach 27 yo 1993/2021 (54.2%, OB, for LMDW Conquête, France, oloroso sherry puncheon, cask #7274, 674 bottles)

GlenDronach 27 yo 1993/2021 (54.2%, OB, for LMDW Conquête, France, oloroso sherry puncheon, cask #7274, 674 bottles) Five stars
Colour: amber. Nose: it's not bombastic, it's rather elegant, with some awesome toffee, treacle, chestnut honey, old rancio, more chestnut (and fir) honey, armagnac, porcini, pu-her, old peppermint liqueur, leaves, old cigarettes, coal tar … And a lot, really a lot of dried apricots. Awesome nose. With water: more patchouli and tobacco. Fabulous pu-her tea. Mouth (neat): marvelous arrival, jammy, full of raisins and prunes, somewhat rancioty but in moderation. Then some maple syrup and dried pears. Less complex than on the nose, but isn't it always like this? With water: the most precious triple-sec and something a tad syrupy, but no big deal. Some curious sweet smoke, I would say. Roasted almonds coated with caramel and honey. Finish: medium, indeed a tad syrupy, but we keep flying very high, with a little mango jam now, thyme honey, sweet pine liqueur, Kahlua… Comments: very sweet for some ex-oloroso, but quite miraculously, balanced has been preserved with much class. One thinks of an old Sauternes at times. Great work with the casks! As they say, cracking reracking…
SGP:751 - 90 points.

Oops, hold on hold on hold on, that one was a mistake! I rather wanted to try this brand new one, my bad…

GlenDronach 28 yo 1994/2023 (51.8%, OB, for LMDW, Pedro Ximenez puncheon, cask #474, 678 bottles)

GlenDronach 28 yo 1994/2023 (51.8%, OB, for LMDW, Pedro Ximenez puncheon, cask #474, 678 bottles) Five stars
Colour: deep amber. Nose: richer for sure, even a little heady but in a seductive way, and rather on old sultanas, old woods (cedar, balsa, eucalyptus), marmalade and jams (banana, mango) and figs and prunes. Figs and prunes everywhere. In the background, a few meaty touches, around beef jerky, bresaola, honey sauce, hoisin, thick sweet gravy, a little tar… With water: these sweet yet very elegant meaty tones are just flabbergasting. Stunning marmalade made with honey. Mouth (neat): big yet very elegant, reminding me of older expressions of a famous distillery in Speyside, with a rather rich floral and honeyed side, a salty touch (braised ham with pineapple), some tar and liquorice, old meaty Bourgogne, a little tarragon… I just love this, it's classic sherried malt whisky, as our friends beyond Hadrian's wall have been making for one hundred and fifty years (roughly). With water: all things chocolate now. Finish: extremely long, with a little more menthol and honey. The combo is dazzling. Toffee in the aftertaste, that could be the direct-fired stills. Comments: exceptionally brilliant GlenDronach. The spring didn't dry up, as it appears. To think that they now belong to the owners of Jack Daniel's… But I'm sure that's of no importance.
SGP:651 - 92 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glendronach we've tasted so far







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