Whisky Review: GlenDronach 12 Year Old Original

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: GlenDronach Distillery

Bottling: Benriach Distillery Company

ABV: 43%

Cost: £39.43 buy from Master of Malt

 

the-glendronach-12-year-old-whisky

What they say:

This superb richly sherried single malt is matured for at least 12 years in a combination of the finest Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. Non-chill filtered, of natural colour and bottled at 43%, the GlenDronach 12 year old Original is a sweet, creamy dram.

Appearance

Deep amber-red gold.

Nose

Sweet, creamy vanilla, with hints of ginger. Spiced mulled wine and pear.

Palate

Rich, creamy, silky-smooth. Warm, rich oak and sherry sweetness, full mouth feel, raisins and soft fruits. Spicy with medium length and a dry finish.

Conclusions

Long, full and firm, slightly nutty.

What I say:

Kick started my Glendronach mini-vertical with the 12 Year Old Original. After trying the absolutely superb Abbey Whisky own bottling  (GlenDronach 1993 Single Cask #33 Abbey Whisky Exclusive) I was desperate to try the core range from ‘Dronach to see how they faired.

Glendronach Distillery

On the cusp of the Speyside and Highland regions this distillery seems to defy regional classification. The current core range of 12, 15 and 18 year old expressions were re-launched in April 2008 to much acclaim. However prior to this the distillery had been closed and mothballed from 1996-2002. The distillery has had a chequered history including partial destruction by fire (1837) and a string of owners. Today it appears stronger than ever under independent ownership Glendronach has invested in heavy maturation in well-sourced sherry casks giving a distinctive flavour profile. Currently, on top of this core range a series of single-cask bottlings are being regularly releasedand arousing fervent interest. Glendronach is definitely an up-and-coming distillery and one to watch for the future. Glendronach fans have already established their own fan-club (seek out the Glendronach Appreciation Society on Facebook – see you there!).

Colour:

Golden marmalade orange

Nose:

Fines, spirit with slight leathery aroma, strong orange and peach fruity notes, toffee and caramel, figs, malted barley and cocoa

Taste:

Thick, viscous and oily, slight leather tannins, strawberry and plum red fruits, milk chocolate, and nutty praline / gianduja

Finish:

Medium length, sweet Demerara sugar possibly a little caramelised, more red fruits and slightly drying

Would I buy it again:

As an introductory level bottling from Glendronach this 12 year old is very drinkable and reasonably priced, there are plenty of hints of the sherry influence in here and has an overall nutty chocolate character as well. Possibly lacking a little in depth and power or body of the flavours but still full bodied and carries a good finish. Personally I would spend a little more money (if you can) and go for something a little older but I would challenge anyone to find fault or not like this expression.

Score: 82/100

Don’t take my word for it:

Read Nick’s thoughts at Whisky Waffle