Wednesday 12 March 2014

Tasted #65, #66, #67 and #68 (phew) - Glendronach 12, 15, 18 and 31yo "Grandeur"

The other week I attended The Wild Rover's "Campbell Corner Whiskey Co-Operative" (CCWC) launch, which saw us taste the Glendronach 12, 15 and 18yo with Douglas Cook of the distillery. Two days later, I was again sitting before Mr Cook (this time at the Oak Barrel) tasting the same line-up, but with one noteable addition - the 31yo Grandeur (Batch 1).

As the scores below probably indicate - these were all fantastic whiskies.

Glendronach 12yo "Original" (43% ABV, 12yo, Higlands, Scotland, $78AUD)
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 (PX?), big sherry influence.
Finish: Dry, long, with a hint of citrus tang on the sides of the toungue.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 91/100. Definitely value for money as a quality, everyday drinking sherried dram.

Glendronach 15yo "Revival" (46% ABV, 15yo, Higlands, Scotland, $110AUD)
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 (on my very non-scientific scale): 93/100. Fantastic.

Glendronach 18yo "Allardice" (46% ABV, 18yo, Higlands, Scotland, $145AUD)
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 (on my very non-scientific scale): 94/100. A truly great whisky.

Glendronach 31yo "Grandeur" Batch 1 (45.8% ABV, 31yo, Higlands, Scotland, $890AUD)
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 (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. A great opportunity to try a very, very rare dram, but I'd choose the 18yo (especially if I was paying!)

 - Martin.

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