Tag Archives: Glendronach

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

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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)

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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)

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