I reviewed the GlenDronach 15 Years back in 2009 when it had just been relaunched by its new owners. I wasn’t entirely convinced because of some sulphury notes so now I’m keen to see what the recent batches are like, five years later.
As you may know, GlenDronach was mothballed from 1996 until May 2002. This production gap forces the distillery to use much older casks for certain expressions. I bought this 15 Year Old a few weeks ago and was bottled May 2014, which means the whisky inside must be at least 18-19 years old. Bargain alert!
Unfortunately this is also why this bottling has become a bit more expensive lately and – more importantly – really hard to find. The biggest UK retailers are out of stock. I’m not even sure if there were any bottlings in 2015? In any case GlenDronach is phasing it out until it can use proper 15yo casks again, some time in 2017-2018.
GlenDronach 15 yo ‘Revival’
(46%, OB 2014)
Nose: really nice! Intense sherry notes, with prunes, raisins and dried apricots, as well as some blackberry jam. Light chocolate notes. Hints of tobacco. Some nice hints of raspberry ganache. Cherries. Also nutty notes (honey-coated pecans) and oranges with cloves.
Mouth: dried fruits again, mixed with loads of milk chocolate. Figs and dates. Hints of coffee. Cinnamon and pepper. Maybe lacking a bit of the compact power that most single casks do have, but nonetheless a clean, balanced sherried whisky.
Finish: long, with a spicy sweetness, chocolate and red fruits.
A big improvement. Once again this proves that popular whiskies can have significant batch variation. Now you’re disappointed, in a year or so you might love it. Good stuff and undeniable value for money. Grab it while you can. Around € 50-60.