Although bottled in August 2016 for the tenth anniversary of The Nectar (GlenDronach importer in Belgium), this GlenDronach 2003 is still available at TastToe. They selected single cask #5489, an Oloroso butt.
We’ll place it against GlenDronach 2002 cask #4648 which was part of the single casks batch 16.
GlenDronach 13 yo 2003
(55,2%, OB for TastToe & Broekmans 2016, Oloroso butt #5489, 705 btl.)
Nose: nice Oloroso aromas, quite modern with clear hints of oak shavings. Raisins and fresh figs. Walnuts, oranges and red berries, as well as a fragrant hint of rose petals. A lightly charred American note in the background, light vanilla too.
Mouth: again a slightly punchier wood feeling than we’d like. Roast coffee beans, hints of marmalade and blackberries. A little menthol and allspice. There’s a hint of cherry but much sweetness down the line.
Finish: quite long, with a chocolate note and wood spices.
You can feel they used young seasoned oak here, sometimes the wood is louder than the sherry. That said, it’s an enjoyable dram. Around € 90, that’s fair.
GlenDronach 15 yo 2002
(54,7%, OB 2017, Pedro Ximénez puncheon #4648, 678 btl.)
Nose: sweeter (caramel, prunes) but also more on orange peels. Nice hints of juicy pear and ripe apricots. The fragrant, aromatic profile is even wider than in cask #5489, with raspberry jams, Morello cherries and cranberries. Round and fruity. Oily notes (linseed), molasses and spices in the background.
Mouth: sweeter and rounder again, a little liqueur-like with lots of toffee notes, blackberries, prunes and dark chocolate, though there is also a woody side with black peppercorns and oriental spices. Orange liqueur. Cinnamon pastry.
Finish: medium long, rounded, with raisins, toffee and wood spices.
Thicker and sweeter, sure, but still quite an elegant kind of Pedro Ximénez cask. My favourite but considerably more expensive (around € 130). Long gone anyway.