Single malt whisky - tasting notes

10 Feb 2014

GlenDronach 1991 (cask #5405)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in GlenDronach

I have a couple of 1990’s GlenDronach expressions lined up, all from the latest Batch n°9 of single cask releases (October 2013). We’ll start with the 1991 cask #5405.


GlenDronach 1991 P.X. #5405GlenDronach 21 yo 1991 (49,9%, OB 2013, Pedro Ximénez puncheon, cask #5405, 702 btl.)

Nose: slightly overweight sherry. Bags of prunes and sticky dates. Caramel and pear syrup. Rather heavy, lacking a hint of brightness, especially since there’s also overripe oranges and a sulphury, vegetal edge that I really don’t like. Not my favourite GlenDronach so far. Mouth: walnuts and rubber, with meaty notes and a heavy caramel sauce. Dark chocolate and dates. Again a tad sulphury. Boo. Breathing and a few drops of water can’t save it. Finish: slightly too long, mostly on rubber, chocolate and pepper.

One to avoid. It’s just too bulky and fleshy, with an unpleasant flatness and a disturbing meaty side. Around € 150.

Score: 78/100

GlenDronach 1991 (cask #5405) 2 Ruben Luyten 2014-02-10
  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

    that is indeed sad. i have to try this myself later tonight. wonder how bad it really is…
    i’ve posted my notes on the 1985 which is 180 deg. different. have you tried that one Ruben?

  • WhiskyNotes

    I can’t say your review convinces me the 1985 is 180° different, but no, I haven’t tried it. I make quite a random choice when buying samples, so better luck with the rest of my selection, I hope.
    Let me know when you’ve tried the 1991.

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

    So, I have tried that one last night.

    I do agree with you It’s not the best of casks, way too thick and win-y and lacking balance (too much rubber and plum juice). i would not rate it under 80, but it’s indeed a sub-par cask. my review is online if you care to read it…

  • Arild Een

    702 bottles after 21 years. This would indicate a low angel share but the abv suggests otherwise. I fear Glendronach is double-maturing its whisky and that the last cask in use is not emptied of all of it’s sherry before filling. That could explain the heavy sherry influence (more of the drink than from the oak) and the number of bottles. Ralfy is discussing this matter. Go to about 10.10 in this
    Any comments on this matter?

  • WhiskyNotes

    It’s perfectly possible indeed and we already knew GlenDronach is regularly practicing this method. 492 litres from a 500 litres cask, that doesn’t indicate long maturation (at least not in that particular cask).

  • MARS

    It’s a puncheon! So, more about 600 litres(maybe more).
    The cask in the van 3 yielded 660 bottles(at 55%), but a second bottling was made with the remaining of the cask(60 bottles, I think). And you have to add the whisky who was drinked from the cask(a few bottles).
    The cas was more htna 500 liter from the start and I think it’s the case again here.
    That said, I hope the quality of glendronach bottling is not dropping also(with fastly increasing price as everyone can see!)

  • WhiskyNotes

    Aargh crazy cask types… indeed there are multiple types of puncheons, from 450 to 667 litres… So there’s no reason to assume it’s not the original cask.

  • My Annoying Opinions

    The label on my bottle from Cask 1240 doesn’t have the words “Cask Strength” anywhere on it. So even if it was a 500 liter puncheon another possibility, which would explain the large outturn and low abv, is that it was diluted–perhaps because the sherry influence was even more massive at full strength. I haven’t opened my bottle yet so can’t comment on this or Ralfy’s review.

  • Arild Een

    Interesting observation, MAO.

    One of my bottles, an 18 yrs old, is from the 3rd release of single casks (Sep 10). It is from a butt and it yielded 760 bottles. That is no less than 532 litres….. from a Butt! Dilution could explain it.

  • My Annoying Opinions

    I looked into this a little more. Here is my post about it:



November 2015
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Coming up

  • 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)

1933 notes by Ruben

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