GlenDronach 18 Year Old Allardice (Official Bottling)

46% ABV, £50-£70

Score: 88/100

What they say:

The famous GlenDronach 18 year old, now renamed Allardice, is the third expression in the GlenDronach core range. This exceptional single sherried malt is non chill filtered and of natural colour. Matured in the finest Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 46%, this sublime richly sherried malt is truly unforgettable.

Appearance

Bright deep gold with a tawny centre.

Nose

Sweet aromatics of fudge and muscovado sugar. Fruit compote and glacier morello cherries provide added complexity.

Palate

Rich dark and seductive. Remarkable flavours of stewed fruits and all-spice marry together with classical aged Oloroso and toasted walnut bread and chocolate orange.

Conclusions

Tremendously complex and long.

What I say:

The final dram in the Glendronach mini-vertical was the 18 year old Allardice. Tried previously by us at Glasgow whisky festival we really felt the need to try this again and put it under some intense scrutiny. The 12YO and 15YO had educated us a little as to how the 18YO was matured. The question now was how did it fare and it is worth the extra money over its younger brothers..?

Colour:

Deep ruby red

Nose:

Chocolate, coffee and hot cocoa, walnuts, cinnamon spice, plum and fig, citrusy barley malt

Taste:

Smooth and rich dark chocolate, prunes and plums, caramelised sugar and vanilla custard, like a dark chocolate and Madagascan vanilla crème brulee

Finish:

Vaporous and drying with long sweetened mocha (chocolate and coffee) , a little woody oak comes through revealing its age

Would I buy it again:

If you can pick this up at the lower end of its price range I would definitely recommend you to do so. Again it is a distinct advancement from the Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival in terms of depth and complexity of the flavours (as the 15YO was from the 12YO). The Allardice has managed to incorporate all of these flavours and builds a very complete and complex dram oozing with sherry influences and that rich dark chocolate style that is synonymous with Glendronach.