Tuesday 10 January 2017

Tasted #337 - 339: GlenDronach 12yo (distilled in 1963), Macallan 7 year old (1990s bottling) & Balblair 1983 30yo

Over the many hours spent at Whisky Live Singapore recently, I tried more drams than I could possibly take detailed notes for (at least, subjectively so), but before the palate fatigue set in, I took a few notes on the following interesting bottles.

GlenDronach 12yo distilled in 1963, bottled in 1975 (43% ABV, 12yo, OB, Speyside, Scotland)
Colour: Light yellow-gold.

Nose: So fruity! Passionfruit, peaches. Quite sweet and very perfumed. Lovely, but completely unlike the sherried GlenDronachs of today.

Palate: Following the nose - oranges and peaches, lots more passionfruit. Incredibly smooth and easy drinking, without feeling weak on the ABV front. No spice, no sherry, just a beautiful, fruity ex-Bourbon (I'm assuming) bouquet. It's not complex, it's not "layered", but it's tasty.

Finish: Medium to long in length, sweet, simple.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  91/100. No one would call this a complex whisky, but I'd wager most people would call it a delicious one. Fun too, because it's such a departure from the usual Sherried GlenDronachs we see today.

The Macallan 7yo (40% ABV, 7yo, OB, Speyside, Scotland)
A sherried 7yo Macallan bottled in the 1990s for Italian importer Giovinetti & Figli.

Colour: Amber-orange gold

Nose: Fresh laundry. Hints of sherry. Young.

Palate: Not a whole lot going on. Some caramel chews, toffee. A little spice. Some furniture polish.

Finish: Short and funky, with a residual earthiness and some mouth-drying tannins.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  85/100. Drinkable, just not all that impressive.

Balblair 1983 (46% ABV, 30yo, OB, Highlands, Scotland, £179.16)
Colour: Orange gold.

Nose: Candied ginger and whole oranges. Vanilla, oak and toffee.

Palate: A textural mouthfeel, with plenty of citrus (whole oranges, grapefruit) and salt-water taffee. Some butterscotch (Butter Menthols actually) and a little oak to balance things out, but not too much. Some dark chocolate rounds things out.

Finish: Long, whole orange slices.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  92/100. Glad I got to try this, as I have a bottle stashed away that hasn't yet been opened. I'm not unhappy about the purchase. It's not hugely complex, and the tasting notes might read like many other well-aged ex-Bourbon whiskies, but it's an enjoyable dram and one that definitely hasn't taken on too much oak in its 30 years.


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