Single malt whisky - tasting notes

09 May 2009

GlenDronach 15 Year Old Revival (2009)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in GlenDronach

Glendronach is not a distillery often seen in stores at the moment. It was mothballed in 1996, restarted in 2002, bought by Pernod Ricard in 2005 and put up for sale again in 2008. The distillery has now been bought by the owners of BenRiach, and we should spell GlenDronach now (with a capital D) to make that clear (marketing dudes…).

The core range (12yo, 15yo and 18yo) was reworked and relaunched. Hence the name Revival for the 15 years old.



Untitled-1 GlenDronach 15y ‘Revival’
(46%, OB 2009)

Nose: There certainly are sulphur notes in this bottling. The first thing I get are mushrooms, a dirt bin and some rubber. Now this is personal, some people like it, others don’t. I have difficulties with it, but let’s move on. Very clear oloroso sherry influence as well: raisins, balsamico vinegar, coffee, mint… Slightly herbal. Subtle smoke as well. Mouth: good mouthfeel. The sherry continues with raisins, dark chocolate, figs, prunes and (slightly bitter) coffee notes. Still a bit dirty if you ask me. Finish: spicier on cloves. Quite long.

I suppose this is going to get a low score in next year’s Whisky Bible. I find it difficult to really appreciate it, although there is some lovely old-style sherry at work here. I can imagine some people adore this for its “off-road” character. Around € 50.

Score: 81/100

GlenDronach 15 Year Old Revival (2009) 3 Ruben Luyten 2009-05-09
  • Johan

    Ah, glad I’m not the only one that was set back by the sulfur

  • Merse

    I for one can’t wait to get my nose and mouth into a bottle of the new 15 and 18. Tasting for yourself is the only true way of knowing whether this dram is what you expect from “The GlenDronach” and it’s new owners Billy Walker and friends…

  • Erik

    Im surprised not to find your notes on the dirt in other reviews. Parhaps they leave it out not to scare people away? :)

    This one is next on my list.

  • Ruben

    Whiskyfun describes it as mushrooms, horse stable, rancio… says it starts on dominant yeast and mushrooms. I think we’re all talking about the same odours and it’s clear that it’s not 100% fresh sherry. As you may know, Serge doesn’t mind a bit of dirty notes, so lots of people won’t bother or won’t even notice. It is a fact that a segment of the population can’t detect sulphurous notes alltogether. I don’t think leaving it out would be an honest thing to do, although I don’t want to scare people away from trying this whisky themselves!

  • Erik

    Yes, iv heard stable and mushrooms before, but your note on dirt bin got me going.

    How big is the suphur? Is it wrapped in something? Does it shadow other notes?

  • Charlie

    The finish was rather short to me and the aromas faded away quickly. Still, I consider it better than M’s 12 YO Sherry Oak.

    It could be a good daily dram if the price can go down a little.

  • MARS

    I opened my bottle recently and I am more disapointed than what I remembered about previous tasting of this one. (still I didn’t like it a lot in previous tasting)

    The sulphur is clearly present but it seems to almost disapear after some breething.(15/20 mintes)

    My problem is clearly the mouth who is way too agressive and tannic (it destry my palate every time).

    Now, I have to see after some month of bottle opening.
    It may be interesting to taste it after 20 years of bottle ageing.

    I definitively prefer the 18 years old and even the 12 new years old (a really good surpise this one)


  • Gal

    i just tasted and got some odd Vinegar notes on the nose.
    see here :

    do you think it’s the sherry influence?

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  • Whisky Kühn

    im wesentlichen ein excellenter Whisky mit den Noten von Pilzen, Anklang von Schwefel. Leichte beerige Töne mit Walnusscharakter. Die Sherrynote konnte brisanter, dominanter sein.

  • Ricardo

    Drank a half bottle this weekend with friends. No sulfur, rubber, mushrooms, vinegar or nastiness of any kind and I’m very sensitive to these qualities. We rated it a solid 88, quite lovely really.
    I’m not questioning your take on this whisky. Could there be variations in the bottling with some being very good and others not so good? Makes me wonder!

  • Ricardo

    BTW: After reading this thread, I’m afraid to buy another bottle for fear I might get a bad one. 8^(

  • Ruben

    Yes there’s variation among the different batches. Read my comments about the 15yo Revival in this post one year later:

    I wouldn’t be afraid to buy another bottle. I wasn’t the only one with a similar reaction to the first batch, so they probably know to stay away too much old-style dirtiness.

  • Ricardo

    Ruben, thanks for response. Read your additional comments and duly noted. There has been a wide diversity of opinion on this spirit, even in reviews, so this may help to explain this.
    Hopefully, any more bottles I purchase will be of the newer more pleasant profile which I find quite good!
    As I mentioned in my previous comment, I generally dislike the dirty, sulfurous qualities.

  • Ricardo

    Ruben, perhaps another review is in order?

  • iaegre

    tLUrRN djjicbfyeggy

  • con-yac

    Severe batch variation.
    One bottle: Delicious. Complex sherry paradise. Loved it.
    Next bottle: Sherry buried alive under quantities of cauterizing smoke. Hated it.
    What. A. Pity.

  • MARS

    Huge batch variation indeed.

    But you can easily spot the one you like or dilike as the date of production is printed on the bottle!

  • Matt

    I managed to geto over a good batch, with so elegant and pleasant a whisky that im must be in the range of 90-93/100. Very enticing, welcoming stuff. Suffice to say that a 5cl glass I have been having for almost an hour:)

  • Best Defence

    83/100! Are you kidding? This is easily in the 90-93 range.

  • WhiskyNotes

    Are you talking about the 2009 batch that was reviewed here? I believe I’ve explained that there are tons of different batches, each containing different whisky, some better than others. It’s perfectly possible that you’ve found a 90+ batch. It doesn’t change my view on the first batch though, and I’ve never encountered a 90+ batch myself either.

  • hifidde

    i got one today bottled in 2013, it`s a fantastic Clean sherrybomb.

  • Chad

    Best Defence, If you notice he changed his tune after Serge and many other reviewers came out raving about this whisky. The first batch he refers to was rated a 92 by Serge and given great marks fairly unanimously. I think Whisky note has a little bit of herd mentality, and scrambled for cover on the second batch. I think his JW Blue mark is also herd mentality but in his defense I have noticed Whisky Note tends to just score lower than most people. Anyway nice website and overall great reviews so I don’t want to be too negative here.

  • WhiskyNotes

    I’m quite sure Serge and I reviewed the same batch, it was the first so it’s recognizable as such (whereas later batches are undisclosed). I’m also quite sure Serge and I don’t have the same taste when it comes to this kind of dirty, slightly sulphury, meaty sherry. I very much stick to my score.

    Herd mentality means you’re following the rest of the pack, I don’t see how that’s the case when everyone likes this whisky and I don’t?



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Old Blended Malt (Eiling Lim)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1928 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.