Tag Archives: Glendronach

Glendronach Master Vintage 1993 25 Year Old

Take a whisky from a classic vintage year from a well-known distillery, one that was matured in sherry casks they are famous for using them and you’d expect a fantastic whisky.

This is what we had in mind when I selected this whisky for a blind tasting events earlier this year – A Glendronach from 1993 (A Master Vintage!) matured in Oloroso and PX casks so it must be a winner.

Let’s see what I thought of it:

Glendronach Master Vintage 1993 25 Year Old (48.2%, £250/218.90)

Photo credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Sour dried berries, a lot of cinnamon of all kinds – fresh, boiled and cooked, gentle oak spices and white pepper, sour fresh cherries and gooseberry and after a few minutes some raspberries as well coupled with milk chocolate. Very mellow and gentle nose. Continue reading


Glendronach Peated Port Wood Finish Review

The Glendronach Peated Port Wood that was released last November is the second Peated release from the distillery. The first one, which was young and is a straightforward bourbon maturation whisky raised my brows because it wasn’t a proper Dronach for me.

But this second release, which had a second maturation in port pipes from the Douro Valley in Portugal, could fit the Glendronach image because we’ve seen port finishes from the distillery albeit at a far more aged whisky.

Glendronach Peated Port Wood Finish (46%, £59.95/€56,95)

Nose: Clean peat, young malt notes, strawberries and lots of cranberries, mezcal, and a vegetal notes that come and go, vanilla. After a few minutes there’s soft smoke and berries perfume, real nice. Continue reading

Glendronach Peated Review

In the wake of the news that Glendronach Distillery are releasing a second peated whisky, finished in Port casks, I think it’s a good opportunity to review the first one, the Glendronach Peated.

A lot of eyebrows were raised when this one was released. Glendronach are known for something completely different – Sherried whisky and to lesser degree the whiskies finished in other type of casks (like Port, Madeira, etc). But jumping on the peated bandwagon somewhat seems contradicting to the Glendronach we know. Will it work for them?

Glendronach Peated (46%, £35.98/€36,49)

Nose: Nice maltiness but you can’t really hide the fact it’s young, there’s a lot of raw barley and some new make sweetness. Then comes the sweet peat along with a very gentle and mellow smoke. Continue reading

Glendronach 19 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish

Glendonach is one of the rising stars in the hearts of whisky fans as it’s gaining a positive image, brand recognition and of course lot of admirers and whisky fans.

The core line up of sherried whiskies, along with the successful single casks batches were the reason for this success but Glendronach also dabble in other casks finishes, using casks with whisky that was distilled before the distillery was mothballed in 1996. The old sherry casks were used for the single cask releases and the premium releases (recherche and grandeur comes to mind), but what of the other casks? This is where the wood finish series play its role.

We’ve reviewed other members of the wood finish series (12 yo Sauternes, 15/18yo Port) and now it’s the 19 Year Old Madeira finish which was aged in European oak and then has been finished in Madeira hogsheads before bottled at 46% for total yield of 3,111 bottles.


Glendronach 19 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish (46%, €145)

glendronach 19 madeira finishNose: Rich pastry and tart dough, very creamy, a bit nutty, cooked barley, underlying suppressed volcanic eruption of spices, ginger, pepper, a dash of pears and apricots, lots of green apples peels, It’s very green with added mild citrus and very tarty. Over time gets some flowers fragrance edge. Continue reading

Holiday VFM Whisky Shopping: the soon to be gone (for a while), Glendronach 15

I’ve been contemplating writing a post on holidays whisky purchases and to be precise, a festive yet striking gold on the value for money scale whisky. When I started looking around for options I encountered the list of the new offers from Glendronach Batch 12 and the rising prices of said offers from a batch to a batch. So I thought to myself: if only the Glendronach 15yo was still available as it’s a perfect fit to my criteria – sherried, festive, complex for its age, rocking VFM.

Why did I think it’s not available? Because last summer it was announced that it will be not be produced for (at least) 3 years due to shortage of spirit of the fitting age. I really thought that following that announcement, all available bottles will be gone in a snap, but what do you know? It’s still available out there! Well, of course it’s not as available as it was in the past – sold out at most online UK shops but there’s still old stock out there in many European stores and across the USA, so I decided to jump ahead and publish the Glendronach 15 yo review now so you can see if it fits your holiday shopping requirements and order it before it’s truly out of stock.

Glendronach 15 (46%, €58.95/$79.29)

GlenDronach 15yo RevivalNose: Lovely sherry impact. No youth notes as I felt with the old 12 yo, big dried fruit  and soaked raisins. demerara sugar. I do get some whiffs of vanilla, orange chocolate, toffee and eventually a rich nutmeg note. Continue reading

Whisky Review – Glendronach 1995 19 yo PX Puncheon TWE Exclusive

A quick review without a lengthy introduction or musings: A Glendronch single cask bottling from 1995. An exclusive bottling for The Whisky Exchange, aged 19yo and packing a 55.4% punch. Gotta be a good sherry bomb, right?

Glendronach 1995 19 yo PX Puncheon TWE Exclusive (55.4%, £110)

glendronach 1995 19yo px puncheon twe exclusiveNose: Yummy! Starts with a heavy PX influence but after a minute you realize it’s not your ordinary sherry bomb. It’s lighter on the red dark fruit front. Instead there are lots of fresh and sweet fruit, sultanas, soaked raisins and dates. There’s a good punch of sherry spices, cinnamon, cloves and some sweet brown sugar. Continue reading

Chronicles of a whisky – Tasting and comparing three variations of Glendronach 12 Year Old

Glendronach is one well loved distillery due to their heritage, sherried profile and the periodical single casks batches.

Glendronach Logo

A quick history lesson: Glendronach was mothballed since 1996 till May 14th 2002 and it operated under Chivas Brothers until Billy Walker and co (AKA Benriach Distillery Company) bought it in 2008 and the core line (12, 15 & 18 yo) was successfully relaunched in 2009.

Now, If you look at that time table you can see some oddity which was a “secret” for a while (although not that well kept “secret” in the last few years) – All recent Glendronach 12 bottles that were bottled until May 14th 2014, were in fact at least 18 years old Glendronach as the available +12yo spirit was distilled before Glendronach was mothballed in 1996.

Glendronach Distillery

Glendronach Distillery

And so you got additional 6 years for free if you bought a 12yo one bottled before that cut day (and maybe even post this cut date but we cannot be sure of that), so a 18yo whisky for the price of 12yo – quite a good deal.

But it’s true for Glendronach 12yo that were bottled post 2008. As the distillery was still in production in 1996, the 12yo bottlings done by Chivas brothers in 2005 till 2008 will still be a ‘true’ 12yo (or thereabout).

The Glendronach 12yo changed when it was re-launched by Billy Walker & co. the old bottling was double matured, first round in ex-bourbon and then finished in sherry casks, or as the label said “double casks matured in sherry wood and traditional oak barrels” and was bottled in 40%.

The Billy Walker era bottlings are full sherry maturated: “matured in a combination of the finest pedro ximenez and oloroso sherry wood”, and so I was curious about comparing the bottlings both comes from that old stock (that was distilled before Glendronach was mothballed) and recently, with the help of two friends, it was finally possible to go ahead and have this kind of tasting.

So let’s go ahead and review three Glendronach 12 from that old stock, one from the old Chivas brothers regime bottled in 2007 and two from the Billy Walker era, bottled a year or so apart – let’s see how those bottlings differs one from each other.


Glendronach 12 Year Old (40%, bottled in 2007 by Chivas brothers)

Continue reading

Whisky Review – Glendronach 12 Year Old Sauternes Finish

Just mention Glendronach Distillery to any whisky aficionado and there are good chances the words ‘Sherry Casks’ will popup in the discussion quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. After all, Glendronach are recognized for the fabulous work they do with Oloroso and PX sherry casks, either with the OB bottlings or with the single casks batches.

But it’s not a catholic marriage as Glendronach do Squint sideways and ‘sin’ with different cask types and finishes. There are port finishes (like the 15/18yo I reviewed here) and wine finishes. Lately Glendronach releases a few new interesting non-sherry finishes: Sauternes and Marsala wine finishes and today we’ll review the Sauternes release.

It’s a 12 year old expression which replaces the 14 yo Sauternes finish expression from four years ago (which has now been discontinued). Did you notice the reduced age? The same happened now with Benriach Sauternes (reduced from 16 to 15) as the demand for whisky far outstrip the available warehouse-matured casks. Anyway, this whisky is initially matured in European oak and then finished in a small batch of Sauternes wine casks. Not all Sauternes finishes are good as it does lend some strong influence of sweet and wine tannins. Let’s check how well does it work here.

Glendronach 12 Year Old Sauternes Finish (46%, £39/€46.5)

glendronach 12yo sauternes finishNose: Starts with sweet white wine including some tannins, very fresh. Then some scented fruits and gentle sweet notes of pears and green unripe apples (it bite a bit with acidity). Also showing: green cardamom. Overall it’s a very gentle and delicate nose, sweet and rounded. Continue reading

Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Glendronach 15yo Tawny Port Finish VS Glendronach 18yo Tawny Port Finish

This weekend I met with friends to taste and drink some whisky so I had a proper excuse to open up one of my recent purchases, the Glendronach 18 Year Old Tawny Port Finish which replaces the younger 15 Year old.

During the evening, after opening and tasting the 18yo, some of the tasters said they preferred the 15yo they tasted before as it’s sweeter and the 18yo felt a bit “watered down”.

Battle of Glendronach Tawny Port Finish: 15yo vs 18yo

Battle of Glendronach Tawny Port Finish: 15yo vs 18yo

Funnily enough, our host had that 15 yo bottle so as a whisky geek, the next logical step materialized clear as crystal in my mind: head to head battle comparison! As my palate was already saturated I grabbed a sample of the 15yo from our host and the next evening I sat down and tasted the 15yo and the 18 one next to each other to find out who’s the better sibling.

Glendroach 15 Year Old Tawny Port Cask Finish (46%, €51)

Continue reading

Whisky News: Glendronach Single Casks Batch 10, Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve, Midleton Very Rare 2014

Another week full of whisky news: Official launch of Glendronach single casks (Batch #10), new Glenrothes expression and new vintage of Midleton Very rare. Enjoy!

GlenDronach releases Batch 10 of its single cask bottlings

AWARD-WINNING GlenDronach Distillery has today (July 14th) released Batch 10 of its renowned single cask bottlings.

Nine outstanding casks, ranging from 1990 to 2002, were selected by Master Distiller Billy Walker. Each one of these casks from the Aberdeenshire distillery is an excellent example of the typical GlenDronach character with tastes of sweet dates, raisins, dark chocolate, toasted oak spice and roasted coffee beans.

GlenDronach Batch 10

The cask details are:

  • 1990 cask # 2970 / 24 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.3%
  • 1991 cask # 1346 / 22 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 52.1%
  • 1992 cask # 199 / 22 Years Old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 59.4%
  • 1993 cask # 494 / 21 Years Old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 55.8%
  • 1994 cask # 326 / 19 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.5%
  • 1994 cask # 3397 / 19 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.8%
  • 1995 cask # 3025 / 18 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.1%
  • 1996 cask # 1487 / 18 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 54.1%
  • 2002 cask # 1500 / 12 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 56.7%

Master Distiller Billy Walker said: “Our batch releases of single casks bottlings are eagerly awaited by whisky connoisseurs worldwide and Batch 10 is truly astonishing in both its quality and style.

“Each cask was selected because of its excellent GlenDronach character. For example, on the nose, 1990 cask # 2970 has generous dustings of allspice over sundried raisins and roasted coffee beans with a delicate barley background. As a contrast, the 1995 cask # 3025 shows fresh green apple developing to prunes and raisins with a vibrant spice note of ginger, black pepper and soft clove oil on the palate.

“And the youngest expression of the nine, 2002 cask # 1500, gives aromas of sweet figs and chocolate-covered raisins dusted with vanilla and spiced by subtle cigar smoke, candied peel and stem ginger. A fascinating range of expressions that will appeal to all tastes.”

The bottlings are now available in major whisky shops


Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits is delighted to announce the release of the latest expression from award-winning Speyside distillery, The Glenrothes.

TGR_Sherry_700mlThe sherry casks used to mature The Glenrothes are made to specification in Jerez, southern Spain, and, despite costing approximately five times more than ex-bourbon casks (which account for over 95% of the casks used in the Scotch whisky industry), the depth of flavour derived from these casks makes the additional investment worthwhile.

Until now, however, The Glenrothes has neverreleased an all-first-fill sherry cask expression. Sherry Cask Reserve is matured predominantly in European oak which delivers a greater array of flavours than the American equivalent and, in particular, the resinous and dried fruit character underpinning the sherry top notes.

Malt Master Gordon Motion’s flavour notes appear on the front label: “Spicy ginger, orange peel, and sherry oak.”

Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director, describes The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve as;“The texture is deliciously creamy, a hallmark of The Glenrothes, which develops into a kaleidoscopic rainbow of soft spicy and fruity flavours on the palate, balanced in perfect harmony with lingering overtones of sherry and Spanish oak.”

The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve tasting notes at 40% ABV

Appearance: Burnished gold

Nose:            Orange peel, fruitcake, vanilla, gingerbread, black cherries, pear drops

Palate:          Spicy, ginger, oaky notes, crème brûlée

Finish:           Lingering spiciness with orange peel notes

The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve will be available from Berry Bros. & Rudd and its representatives in key markets. The recommended retail price is £55 (€65 or NT$2,000) per bottle.

 Irish Distillers unveils Midleton Very Rare 2014

midleton very rare 2014

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has unveiled the 2014 edition of its prestigious Midleton Very Rare whiskey, the first to be hand selected by Master Distiller, Brian Nation, following his appointment in 2013.

For every Midleton Very Rare release, the signature of the Master Distiller is included on the label to provide the ultimate guarantee of quality. Midleton Very Rare 2014 is the first to bear Nation’s signature on its label, continuing the tradition established by former Master Distiller Barry Crockett when he created the first Midleton Very Rare whiskey in 1984.

Available from this month in specialist retailers, Midleton Very Rare 2014 is blended from only the finest Single Pot Still and grain whiskeys, which have been matured in specially-selected, ex-Bourbon American oak casks that have been lightly charred on the inside to impart a complex and elegant taste profile. The components of this exclusive blend have been aged for up to 22 years, making it a real collectors’ item.

Anna Malmhake, Chairman and CEO at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, says: “It’s always exciting for us to release a new Midleton Very Rare expression as it really shows the outstanding quality that the Irish whiskey category has to offer, but this 2014 release is extra special as it heralds a new era for us as Brian Nation takes the reins from Barry Crockett at our Midleton Distillery.

“Midleton Very Rare is a whiskey with real provenance, produced at the distillery in Midleton using only the finest ingredients and is rightfully regarded as the pinnacle of Irish whiskeys by collectors and connoisseurs worldwide, who cherish the nuances of each release. As Brian carries on the Midleton Very Rare legacy, we look forward to more discerning drinkers around the world discovering the quality and provenance that Irish whiskeys have to offer.”

Master Distiller Brian Nation, added: “It is a real honour for me to continue the Midleton Very Rare legacy and to have my name on the label, where Barry’s signature once was. I’m very proud of the 2014 edition, as it offers real complexity with a full taste of sweet spice, vanilla, and cinnamon, which lingers before slowly giving way to notes of barley. I am confident that it will provide whiskey fans around the world with the interesting and enjoyable tasting experience that they have come to expect from Midleton Very Rare over the years – and I look forward to hearing what Barry thinks of it too!”