GlenDronach

The GlenDronach 25 Years Old 1993 Master Vintage (48.2%, OB, 2019)

The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 25 Years Old

Whisky Review

Glendronach-1993-Master-Vintage-Bottle-Box

What they say

The GlenDronach sherry casks laid down in 1993 have long been acknowledged as an excellent vintage from The GlenDronach, receiving high praise from malt connoisseurs. This has inspired the creation of The GlenDronach 1993 Master Vintage, to showcase and celebrate this exceptional year.

The GlenDronach Master Blender, Dr Rachel Barrie, has hand-selected Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks exclusively from 1993, to create a marriage of exceptional richness and complexity, in this twenty-five-year-old expression of The GlenDronach Highland Single Malt Whisky.

Master Blender, Dr Rachel Barrie said:

“With a quarter of a century slowly maturing in our renowned Andalucían casks, The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 Aged 25 Years has developed profound layers of depth and complexity, leading to an exceedingly long, voluptuous and memorable finish.”

Fans of The GlenDronach’s traditional Highland Single Malt can expect rich brandy-laced fruitcake on the nose, cocoa-dusted coffee and sultana brioche on the palate and lingering pecan toffee notes in the finish. I hope sherry cask connoisseurs around the world enjoy The GlenDronach 1993 Master Vintage, as an example of the finest sherry cask maturation.”

Official tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Mahogany with a golden walnut hue.
  • Nose: Rich brandy-laced fruitcake and marzipan on a base of smoked walnut and toasted sultana bread.
  • Taste: Sip cocoa-dusted coffee and sultana brioche enlivened by a twist of baked orange rind and the juiciness of prune oil.
  • Finish: Savour the long velvet taste of rich cocoa and dates as pecan toffee lingers into the sumptuous finish.

What I say

Distilled at GlenDronach distillery in 1993 and matured for a minimum of 25 years in a mixture of both ex-Oloroso and ex-PX sherry casks, bottled at 48.2% ABV. According to the distillery 1993 vintage GlenDronach stock has been acknowledged as an excellent vintage. A quick analysis of  Whiskybase GlenDronach listings reveals the following:

Vintage # casks / expressions Average age Average Score
1989 11 22.00 89.06
1990 40 23.13 89.24
1991 25 21.28 88.20
1992 69 22.20 89.52
1993 107 21.42 89.26
1994 82 19.18 88.97
1995 106 18.86 88.60
1996 42 15.98 86.82
2002 59 10.14 87.22
2003 101 11.46 86.46
2004 21 11.89 88.24

Whilst 1993 was the most prolific year contributing 107 different expressions the average score 89.26 comes in second to 1992 vintages 89.52, however perhaps sheer weight of numbers of good casks from 1993 validate this impression as a great vintage from GlenDronach?

Thanks to The GlenDronach and SpeyPR for the official sample

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Old Sauternes (11/20), medium tears, medium-large legs.
  • Nose: Chocolate and nuts, quite clean and refreshing with some antique furniture and polish, leather, walnut, raisin and fig, sweeter vanilla and pastry-like notes such as cinnamon danish aside mocha coffee.
  • Taste: Medium-bodied, quite silky, it has that old/antique/aged wood quality, walnut, oak, chestnut, some toffee a little treacle toffee and chocolate, slightly thinner notes of fruit, raisin, fig, black cherry, prune, fresh root ginger, more mocha coffee with a dash of brandy and a hint of vanilla cream.
  • Finish: Medium-long, a little drying and spicy, cinnamon, grated nutmeg, dried fruits

Overall

A little thinner and woodier than I hoped for/expected. A classic heavy sherry GlenDronach but quite a bit of spirit and old wood on display here too – quite distinct from some of the single cask releases of the same (or many other) vintages. Delivered at 48.2%, this is a little lower than many of the single casks of this age and I’m unsure if this is batch/marrying strength or reduced – feels reduced, which is a shame as otherwise this is a good whisky.

Score 87/100

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