Single malt whisky - tasting notes

20 Oct 2011

GlenDronach 1971 (cask #1436)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in GlenDronach

When I tried most of the fourth batch of GlenDronach single casks a couple of weeks ago, I went on and forgot to publish the review of this GlenDronach 1971 cask #1436.

Actually I didn’t completely forget, but I felt a little unimpressed with this year’s single casks. Let’s hope they still have some great casks lying around, because upping the price each year and lowering the quality doesn’t make much sense.


GlenDronach 1971 cask 1436GlenDronach 40 yo 1971
(48,5%, OB 2011, PX sherry puncheon #1436, 583 btl.)

Nose: meaty start with some gravy notes and Oxo. Dark crispy bacon. Dried fruits as well (blackberry jam) but none of the fresh fruitiness that we’ve seen in previous 1971 and (especially) 1972 casks. If you wait long enough, there are some nice tobacco notes, roasted nuts and moccha. Disappointing in terms of freshness and complexity. Mouth: perfect drinking strength but an unusual mixture of sharp, slightly vinegary notes and dark, sticky plums, with nothing in between. A little incoherent and too sweet I’m afraid – think actual PX sherry or Greek raisin syrup. After that it becomes spicier (pepper), nuttier but woodier as well. Finish: dry, with walnuts and the return of tobacco notes.

A collector’s item maybe, but not the most rewarding GlenDronach for whisky drinkers in my opinion. Around € 450, still readily available.

Score: 83/100

GlenDronach 1971 (cask #1436) 3 Ruben Luyten 2011-10-20
  • aw

    No chance for you to try this year’s 1972?

    I went for it, expecting perfection, but it seems rather tight, austere, ungiving. It never really opens up and flies. I get more enjoyment from Aberlour a’bunadh (which is always great, and of course a fraction of the price).

  • MARS


    you have an open bottle of glendronach 1972/2011?
    I buy a bottle and will sell it if it’s not as good as espected(1972 is suposed to be a good year).
    Maybe I will make a splitsing.

    I am very happy I didn’t buy this 1971/2011. It’s way too expensive for what it is!

  • aw

    I have an open bottle of 1972/2011. I was expecting more, to be honest. On one level it’s hard to fault it, but on another level I expected it to “give” more, to not be so “tight”… you know?

    I remember getting more from the Glendronach 1990 / 20 Year Old of last year – just an all-round more enjoyable experience.

    I was hoping to see a review of this year’s 1972 from Serge and/or Ruben… hey: maybe it’s just me who has a problem with it?

    I haven’t had a 1972 before, so can’t compare, but I went for it this year since it’s meant to be such a special vintage… but was left underwhelmed.

  • MARS

    The 1971/1972 vintage I have tryed are very different from the 80’/90′ vintage I have tryed.
    Where are you living? If it’s not too far, maybe I can buy you a sample and seen by myself.

    By tight, you mean that it’s weak?
    The 1972 are suposed to be fruity, especialy with the addition of some water.(the 2009 and 2010 were fruity with the addition of water)

    Anyway, I have proposed my bottle of 1972 for sampling on a forum and they are good chance I will open it and try it.

    The best glendronach for me, so far, is the 1972/2009 from the batch 1. Ruben seems to think the same when I see his note.

  • Ruben

    Those 1972’s are always gone quickly and they never make it to sample websites, so it’s getting difficult to review them.
    Sure, the 1972/2009 cask #719 was excellent and my favourite GlenDronach so far. I have the feeling that the overall quality of the casks is slowly going downhill but I really hope it’s not true.

  • aw

    I’m in the south of England. You can have a sample; I won’t sell it to you. By “tight” I mean that it’s kind of tight-fisted, you know? Holding back, being stingy, not giving, not opening up. Think “austere”, rather than “weak”.

    If you want a sample (gratis), let me know. You have my email address. I’m not sure about international sending of whisky from a legal / duty point of view. Maybe you know more about that than I do.

  • S.

    Hello Rubén,

    sorry to go against you again, but while I did agree with you on some Whiskies, this is ANOTHER Glendronach to which I disagree with you!
    I had it at London’s Whisky Show and it was AMAZING! LONG, COMPLEX, on hazelnuts, almost Nutella like with LOVELY sweet spices, NICE slightly ripe bananas, treacle, cinamon, cloves, Cola sticks and just a subtle touch of exotic fruits and a LONG and LINGERING FINISH with just a light and subtle dryness not to be unexpected at this age!

    I even took a generous sample inside my hip flask which Mr Allan MacConnechie (Glendronach Distillery Manager) very kindly served me at the show which I ended up drinking the following Sunday at my workplace, and on both occasions it tasted GREAT for MY palate! NEVER 83/100 points but more towards 90 (foe me).

    Another MASSIVE HIGHLIGHT was the 1971 Benriach Single Cask from 2011 at 49.8% which I also took in a hipflask; and I must say I cannot agree with you on your rating from this year’s 1994 Glendronach at 60.1% either (also from 2011)…

    Speak to you soon!

    Thank you!


  • S.

    I’ll even give this 1971 Glendronach PX (48.5%, bottled 2011) a 91/100!!!

    I found it AWESOME and LOVED IT (Personally)!


  • Ruben

    Hi Selim, it’s totally okay to have your own opinion of course! Have you had a chance to try some of the previous 1970’s GlenDronach? I’ve tasted quite a lot of single casks and this one was not bad but nowhere near the earlier casks (and nowhere near € 450). I have some left, I’ll try it again in the near future and let you know my thoughts.

  • S.

    Hi Ruben,

    in all honesty, no. I haven’t had any other chances to try other 1970’s Glendronachs other than 1 or 2 1970’s (possibly 1972’s) but from something like 10 cl sample bottles that may have hanged around for too long and were slightly drying for whatever reason, but from a fresh bottle, never.

    (Meanwhile, that 1971 sample I had at London’s Whisky Show WAS from a fresh bottle.)

    Thanks for taking yourself again the time to reply to me.

    I’ll get back to you on the 1994 Glendronach, 60.1% from this year (2011) which I DID LIKE quite A LOT! I’d say around 89/100 for it.

    Speak to you soon!


  • MARS

    we can make an exchange of sample! 😉
    I am in belgium as ruben.

    My e-mail adress is : marsgold at (hope I can avoid the spam like this, don’t forget to change it correctly)

    I understand what you mean now. Austere talk to me a lot!



November 2015
« Oct    

Coming up

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

1931 notes by Ruben

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