Monday 17 October 2022

Tasted #595: Glendronach 50yo (TimeforWhisky 10 Year Anniversary Dram)

Today's 10th Anniversary Dram comes courtesy of Hendy, in the form of one incredible GlenDronach...

My first foray with GlenDronach was back in 2016, at an Oak Barrel GlenDronach tasting where I fell in love with the distillery and in particular with its 15yo. Notwithstanding the fact that GlenDronach is Scotland's second oldest legal whisky producer, the distillery is also well known for its range of sherry-matured whiskies as well as its tumultuous history.

Everything from its quality, to its rich profile and value, are what separates GlenDronach from other similar distillers. Those that come to learn more about GlenDronach will quickly discover the two significant periods; the GlenDronach prior to its closing in 1996 (until 2002) and the rebirthed GlenDronach which was acquired by Chivas Brothers in 2005, subsequently purchased by BenRiach Distillery Co in 2008.

You can also think about its whiskies in similar ways, with those GlenDronach whiskies that have been distilled prior to its closure in 1996 and its newer releases that may have been distilled in recent times, following its reopening in 2002.

This brings me to the GlenDronach 50yo, a truly special GlenDronach which I thought was also fitting for our special 10-year celebration tasting round-ups. 

The GlenDronach 50yo is the distillery's oldest and rarest whisky to date. Distilled in 1971, the malt has quietly aged away since in one PX and one Oloroso sherry cask. Both casks from the bodegas of Jerez in Andalucia, Spain. It was then blended for final maturation for around one year in a single new Spanish oak PX cask. With only 198 bottles available worldwide, Rachel Barrie, GlenDronach's Master Blender said:

“The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is the most prestigious expression of what this timeless, richly-sherried Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has to offer."

Bottle No. 1 of The GlenDronach 50yo is gone as it was proudly donated to the inaugural Distillers’ One of One Auction in December 2021, raising £40,000 in support of disadvantaged young people in Scotland.

I was provided with a small sample of the GlenDronach 50yo following its launch in Sydney. Here's what I thought...

The Glendronach 50yo (43.8% ABV, 50yo, Highlands, Scotland, A$39,500)

Very alluring and fresh; with notes of dark fruits, plums, prunes, cherries, raisins and dark chocolate. There is a small hint of tobacco that is woven with the deep fruity and cocoa scent.

Palate: Luscious, viscous and with no oakiness. The palate carries the notes from the nose with stewed plums, mixed with cherries. There's a small hint of citrus but finely strung together by smooth fine Belgian chocolates. Truly delicious.

Finish: Not too long, it fades slowly though the remains of that fine cocoa slowly drift away.  

Rating: 95/100.

Thanks ever always to Stuart Reeves for providing us with the sample of the GlenDronach 50yo and also having us at the launch that featured Stewart Buchanan, the GlenDronach Global Malts Ambassador.


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