The Glendronach 12 Year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750mL

Alright well time to start going through our backlog of scotches (I’ll try to pepper them in among the other spirits). This scotch has a special place in my heart though. I was recently at the crux of a project release, and my nerves were understandably frayed. Even though my hand was shaking just to get the scotch in the glass, the warmth of the highlands saved me from getting too stressed.

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Now this scotch manages to do one major thing for me which is to not be awful and yet be aged in sherry casks. As you may remember from our finale of scotches with Glenmorangie the sherry casking ruined the scotch for us.

This is something that we’ve seen other times as well – most recently with Grand Macnish (a very affordable and well valued scotch that expect a review of the non-sherry version soon.) That while we understand why sherry casking is a thing. (It’s a tax evasion as oak/bourbon barrels are taxed differently than sherry.) we don’t understand why they simply didn’t just lower quantities than to ruin scotch.

This though while certainly distinctive from a normal highland scotch was not ‘too distinctive’ which is actual praise. When I want a highland scotch, I’d rather not have sherry with some fire whiskey thrown in thank you very much, and I’m glad at least one Scottish distillery has figured that bit out.

What they Say: “Front: James Allardice 1780-1849 Inventor, Pioneer, Entrepreneur, Founder of the Glendronach Distillery. Founded in 1826 by James Allardice. GlenDronach was one of the very first licensed distilleries. Allardice was a colorful character and stories abound as to how promoted his whisky with entrepreneurial flair. He was also a pioneer of wood finishing and would have celebrated today’s superb Glendronach Matured in a combination of the finest Pedro Ximinez and Olorosso sherry casks – the Glendronach is a perfectly balanced smooth, creamy, full bodied single malt scotch whisky.

Back Top: Tasting Notes

Appearance: Deep amber-red gold.

Nose: Sweet, creamy vanilla, with hints of ginger. Autumn fruits

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

Finish: long full and firm, slightly nutty.

Back Bottom:

The GlenDronach distillery is the Forgue valley in Aberdeenshire is named after the source of its water; the Dronac burn. It has a history of enterprising owners from the flamboyant James Allardice to the ambitious Walter Scott. Although times have moved on, the processes used to create the GlenDronach have remained largely unchanged. Today’s malt is created using great Oregon pine washbacks and the same shaped stills used in 1826.”

 

Taste: 6.5 – Nice initial, but it’s just a bit too light when stacked against what comes after that it becomes a bit forgettable

Aftertaste: 8.0 – Here you get a nice peat-y taste, which is balanced by the sherry casking. I do have to admit that the score is much higher because it is a sherry cask scotch. Typically these are awful, and I’m glad to have found the counter-example.

Burn/Smooth: 8.5 – Considering the peat, warmth, and sherry I am downright surprised at how smooth this goes down, and the warming feeling as I mention above is great.

Aroma: 7.5 – To be honest my notes are a bit ‘unreadable’, but the words I can make out are good oakyness, not killing with sherry.

Honesty: 3.0 – Sorry a flamboyant owner, the sheer wall of wank text that I had to write out, and including tasting notes just takes away all the points that it got just by being a scotch.

Mixability: 7.0

w/ Rocks: 7.0 – Fairly average on ice, the water isn’t do as much to scotch as it does to some single malts, but the chill is better.

Value: 5.0 – I did pay slightly less than that, but even still at 60 dollars this isn’t bad on taste, but it’s not a great deal either.

Google Shop Average: $60

Website: glendronachdistillery.co.uk

 

Reviewer Scores:

BuffaloJern: 7.0

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Metric Score: 45.5/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.5 |+| Reviewer Average: 7.0

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Final Thoughts:

If you have to have a sherry cask aged scotch, this is hands down the choice to make, but why would you need to have that? Which since you don’t makes this just an average scotch among the pack.

BuffaloJern

I am the Buffalo editor and curator of Honest Booze Reviews

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