I had a birthday this September past and my lovely sister blessed me with a bottle of Glendronach Original 12 Year Old. She asked me if I liked it and since I’ve never reviewed anything from the Glendronach distillery, I told her I loved it. I always welcome the opportunity to try a new whiskey, especially when I have an entire bottle to really get a grasp on the subtlties awaiting me inside!
This was a gift, so I’m not sure what the cost in Canada is, but a quick search tells me that it’s going for around £23 overseas.
This is matured in a double cask process; first in sherry wood then traditional oak barrels. The nose has a nice creamy vanilla and, while somewhat hidden, a sharper sherry as well as a subtle pear. I’m not terribly favourable to sweet sherry flavours and smells, so I have trouble getting past this in the nose.
This scotch has a rich flavour and a very smooth texture. The sherry cask is subtle and deepens the complexity of the palate rather than dominating it. I note oak, spices and a gentle fruit taste as well.
The sherry does make an appearance in the taste but it’s not until the finish that it really comes to light. It’s not overly sweet, but it does sit on top of the finish. It’s here that the fruits come to life and the flavours fill your senses.
As I do say, whenever I sample a sherry cask aged whisky I’m not the greatest fan of this flavour. To me Glendronach 12 has found a balance in where the Sherry and Oak casks work well together, and rather than becoming a sweet sherry dominated drink the Sherry compliments and enhances the overall experience. Which may make sense since this distillery has specialized in richly sherried malts for nearly 200 years. They definitely have the experience with it.
The Glendronach distillery seems to have accumulated a bit of a bad wrap from enthuthiasts over the years, but has recently (2008) returned to independant ownership which may bring new tastes and scotches. They have recently rebranded their 12 year to “Original” and have three other whiskeys; the 15 year old or “Revival”, the 21 year old or “Allardice” and the 33 year old.
The official website is at GlendronachDistillery.com.
If you have tried this scotch and would like to relate your experience with it, please leave me a comment.
A while back we had some interest in bottling practices behind certain scotches. Please see: White Labeling Single Malts for the original article.
I contacted the Vintage Malt Whisky Company Limited and they were extremely gracious in their response to some of my quesitons:
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