Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Tasted #326 - 328: Three single cask GlenDronachs from Batch 11

Batch 14 of GlenDronach's excellent single cask releases may have just been released, but we're stepping back a little with this post - to January 2015's Batch 11. 

(For comparison, we'll have tasting notes on three of the recent Batch 14 releases - Oloroso Sherry Butt releases of course - in a few weeks. In particular, this 23yo, this 24yo and this 24yo.) 


These three whiskies came from a PX Sherry Puncheon (1990 Cask #1162), an Oloroso Sherry Puncheon (1995 Cask #4941) and my personal favourite - an Oloroso Sherry Butt (1994 Cask #54). Whilst I'd love to have full bottles of these, GlenDronach's single casks have been getting harder and harder to get a hold of lately, especially the official "Batch" releases from the distillery. I'm still managing to get a hold of a reasonable amount of "private" single casks - casks bottled for whisky shows, clubs, events etc.. (mostly from Taiwan and Japan), but the official "Batches" seem to sell out quicker and quicker every year.

Somewhat easier to get a hold of though are the 30mL sample drams Master of Malt sell via their "Drinks by the Dram" service...which is how I ended up tasting these...


GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 11 Cask #1162 1990 24 Year Old (52.9% ABV, 24yo, Single Malt from an ex-PX Sherry puncheon, Speyside, Scotland, was £104.96ex-VAT but no longer available)
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Colour: Dark mocha-copper.

Nose: Initially a little hot. Candied peanuts, raisins, lots of chocolate, hints of tobacco leaves and even a little saltiness.

Palate: There's definitely some PX sweetness here. Plenty of rich, berry-sherry notes, but overlaid with a big sugary/confectionary-like sweetness hit. Cigars, sea air, salted caramel. Oak. Water tones down the sweetness and brings out some tobacco notes.

Finish: Long. Coffee grounds, with a salty astringency. At the very end there's a reasonable amount f tannins. Wither water, a little more earthy.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  92/100. A very good whisky, but not as well balanced (especially when it comes to the oak) as the others.



GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 11 Cask #54 1994 20 Year Old (56.6% ABV, 20yo, Single Malt from an ex-Oloroso Sherry butt, Speyside, Scotland, was £79.96ex-VAT but no longer available)
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Colour: Treacle, maple syrup copper.

Nose: Toffee, demerara sugar, and a lot of spice - cloves. There's also a freshness, some nutmeg, and a lot of citrus oil - like a freshly expressed orange peel.

Palate: This is just all kinds of trademark GlenDronach - big rich juicy complex sherry. There's also hints of bacon, maple syrup, caramel, stewed berries and rich, warm cherry pie.

Finish: Long (LONG!), spicy-sweet, with a residual sweet treacle note that balances perfectly with hints of oak.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  94/100. Just a wonderful whisky.



GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 11 Cask #4941 1995 19 Year Old (57% ABV, 19yo, Single Malt from an ex-Oloroso Sherry puncheon, Speyside, Scotland, was £75.79ex-VAT but no longer available)
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Colour: Dark amber-copper (or as some would say - "correct").

Nose: Earthy at first. Then varnish/furniture polish, leather, tobacco and Brazil nuts. Beautiful nose. With water it becomes a little more earthy, a little more dusty.

Palate: Initially citrus-sweet, then moving onto rich mocha caramel. Sweeter and spicier than the nose, with hardly any of the furniture polish / leather from the nose. Water does add a little bit of those characteristics though.

Finish: Long, citrus-y and warming. Slight tannic astringency, which vanishes after a few drops of water.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  92/100. A very nice whisky but I wish the palate was as good as the nose suggested.


Cheers,
Martin.

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