GlenDronach enjoys a cult following amongst whisky lovers, and it's not hard to see why.
While other distilleries previously known for their 'sherry bombs' have branched out into other casks for ageing their whisky (mostly Bourbon), GlenDronach has remained true to its roots and continued to focus on brilliant, heavily-sherried Speyside whiskies aged on-site at its distillery in the Scottish highlands.
GlenDronach 12yo 'Original'
Colour: Burnt, coppery orange.
Nose: Sherried, but not in a smack-you-in-the-face sherrybomb manner. Sweet, youthful, strawberries, candied fruits and the oft-mentioned 'Christmas cake'.
Palate: Nutty, dry, big sherry influence.
Finish: Dry, long, with a hint of citrus tang on the sides of the tongue.
Rating: 91/100. Definitely value for money as a quality, everyday drinking sherried dram.
Details: 43% ABV, A$78
GlenDronach 15yo 'Revival'
Colour: Burnt orange but with more of a red hue than the 12yo.
Nose: Spice, caramel, cinnamon and orange peel.
Palate: Even more spice (this wasn't present on the 12yo at all), ginger, berries. Big tannins, big mouthfeel.
Finish: Sweet, medium to long, berries right to the end, with a hint of orange rind at the very end.
Rating: 93/100. Fantastic. The sweet spot of the Glendronach line-up: every bit a quintessential sherried whisky, and punching well above its price point.
Details: 45% ABV, A$110
GlenDronach 18yo 'Allardice'
Colour: Deep, deep copper, almost burgundy.
Nose: Massive sherry hit. No surprise as to what type of cask this was aged in. Definitely has some older hints (leather, oak) but also sweet honey notes, which were unexpected. Maple syrup? Blueberries too. Complex. Could definitely nose this all night - preferably by a fireplace in the middle of winter.
Palate: Huge mouthfeel. Silky, soft and delicate but bursting with notes of blueberries, spice (though not as pronounced as the 15yo) and oak.
Finish: Sweet, big tannins, drying, extremely long, and still with those berries.
Rating: 94/100. A truly great whisky.
Details: 46% ABV, A$145
GlenDronach 31yo 'Grandeur' Batch 1
Colour: Dark copper / burnt dark orange.
Nose: Rich, with notes of port, sherbet, and berries (though this is no sherry monster). Age has definitely softened it.
Palate: Soft and subtle - no dominant characteristics here. Fruity, almost floral. Again, the age seems to have softened it.
Finish: Very, very long, berries, stonefruits.
Rating: 92/100, but if I was paying I'd choose the 18yo.
Details: 45.8% ABV, A$890
Also read: Three great whiskies to buy duty-free
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