Single malt whisky - tasting notes

12 Sep 2011

GlenDronach 1990 (cask #1032)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in GlenDronach

Our next GlenDronach single cask was filled in 1990. A Pedro Ximénez sherry pucheon just like the 1989 cask #2917.


GlenDronach 1990 cask 1032GlenDronach 20 yo 1990 (50,1%, OB 2011,
PX sherry puncheon #1032, 728 btl.)

Nose: this one seems a bit duller and flatter than the 1989. It has more typical, sticky Pedro Ximénez elements with dried fruits and moscovado sugar. Dark polished wood. Some leather. Thick and jammy (blackberry or plum jam). Mouth: sweet cocoa flavours. Almonds and honey. Red fruit candy. Plums. Different types of jam again. Spices are quite delicate, and there’s not a lot of wood. Some sweet tobacco. Sweetness all over actually. Finish: still quite sweet and rounded, medium long.

This 1990 may be a more coherent package than the 1989, but you have to like a sweet and sticky malt. Rather faultless but slightly overdone for me. Around € 120.

Score: 84/100

GlenDronach 1990 (cask #1032) 3 Ruben Luyten 2011-09-12
  • Pippo

    Hi Ruben – I’ve seen that most of these new Glendronachs are available as samples from
    I take the chance to ask you a question about the “life” of a sample, I mean: how long do you keep your samples before trying them? I ask you that because I sampled some whisky from bottles that I knew well, and I’ve noticed that after a while (few months, usually, so not that much… and they were definitely well-sealed) they kind of lost something. Do you think that spending time in those cute little bottles affects in some way the whisky?
    Thank you, and – of course – thank you for your reviews!

  • Ruben

    Hi Pïppo, indeed I also bought my samples from This is a very interesting problem of course. In the case of recent releases, I usually review them very soon, let’s say within 1-4 months. In the case of older (unavailable) bottlings, there’s no hurry and some of my unopened samples have been bought / exchanged two or three years ago.
    I do imagine samples loose some of their qualities over time and oxygen is probably the most important element. On one hand I expect the sealing screwcaps of sample bottles to be more efficient than most bottle caps / corks, on the other hand the amount of oxygen inside is relatively big compared to the sample bottle itself. I’m not sure about the actual influence and time frame but I’ve never been surprised when comparing a sample to a full bottle and I’ve never detected big differences.
    From a 3cl sample I even save 1cl in case I want to remember the whisky afterwards. This is not for reviewing purposes (I guess the changes are even bigger when the sample is full of air). But even with these leftovers I don’t notice major differences.
    Moreover, there’s ALWAYS a gradual change whether you have a sample or a full bottle. In fact GlenDronach bottles usually benefit from a little airing – they tend to fold open and get better when the the level is lowering. They may have lost something but they may have gained as well. So which point in time gives us the “true” profile and the perfect moment for evaluation? Tasting right after opening a bottle? Tasting after aeration for a few weeks? For a few months? Tasting after ten years in the cellar? This is probably a Platonic problem (the whisky cave), but personally I don’t think this whole issue is significantly deforming our perception.

    Anyway I would never claim a review is absolute, it’s always a personal snapshot of a certain moment in time. The possible deterioration from being sampled is not something I’m worried about… I tend to think our own perception, experience, mood and appreciation are much more volatile than the liquid itself.

  • Kian

    I decided to give these single cask releases a go this year and bought the 1990 px and the 1992 oloroso. The px was tasty enough but like you say a bit dull and a little bit of a dissapointment to be honest. although it may liven up as time goes on – hopefully. The oloroso was a different story entirely and an absolute beauty. I might have to grab the 17 YO while theres still some available.

  • Ruben

    I didn’t like the 17yo 1994 (worst of the batch for me) but indeed the 19yo 1992 is beautiful. I’ll post my notes tomorrow.

  • MARS

    Ordered 2 bottles yesterday. Hope I will get them(not sure). Ordered also a 1972.
    This time, I will pas my turn on the other release. It’s way too expesnive, especially for the 1971 (are they mad?).
    I wonder what will be the price for the 1968?

  • MARS

    2 bottles of the 1992, not this one!



November 2015
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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)

1932 notes by Ruben

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