GlenDronach is known for crafting single malts that are richly sherried. Though the 14 Year Sauternes Cask we reviewed early last year is no longer offered, several others have been introduced (or reintroduced) to take it’s place. The 15 Year in particular has received a lot of positive attention, having been an excellent single malt from years ago recently brought back. Since we’d gone through a number of Sauternes finished whiskies, we decided to sample the sherry finish to compare.
Age: 15 years
Maturation: Spanish Oloroso Sherry Casks
Nose: Green apple, sweet, chocolate, oak, celery, vanilla
Palate: Red apple, spice, wine, lemon candy, iodine, brine, dried pineapple
Adam – I’ve seen a lot of people going crazy for this online and such, so I’m not sure if my expectations were thrown or not. Suffice it to say I have not jumped on this particular bandwagon. There are some good qualities here, as the sherry notes on the nose and the smoothness of that first drink, even at 46%. Sadly, it sort of falls apart after that. The menthol/iodine is too strong for my tastes even with some water to take off the edge, smothering the other notes of fruit and sweet I can detect just below the surface. It’s the wild west of Scotches for me: raw, brisk, a veritable tumbleweed of flavors that never seem to quite coalesce.
Kate – This is like a little kid throwing things all at once into a bowl together trying to play chef, grabbing random things and topping it with syrup, and it does not work for me. I think I would like this better if each of the flavors came to me individually, but they come to me all at once.
Meghan – I get burned out with Sherry cask finishes as I often find the finish too sour in an almost spoiled way. Luckily, this cask does not give me that flavor. I prefer it with a bit of water. There are notes that make me want to really love it: spice, apple and lemon, hints of brine and green vegetable but it just misses the mark. One of my main reasons for loving Highlands over other regions is for their transportive quality. I can see a place when I drink them, I can feel the sun and wind, taste the spray-kissed grassy wind. This GlenDronach just doesn’t quite take me anywhere. It’s more like the travel brochure for a destination: glossy, too pristine, while overselling and showing you more than any one person could experience. If it tried a little less by pulling back on some flavors, it would achieve a lot more in the delivery.