I believe GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 9 is the latest batch of this high octane expression. It has been matured in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks of different sizes, including butts and puncheons.
Mind that the label for Batch 8 and 9 says ‘PX and Oloroso sherry casks’ while Batch 7 only said ‘PX and Oloroso casks’. They seem to be hesitating about the provenance sometimes.
GlenDronach Cask Strength (59,4%, OB 2020, Batch #9)
Nose: oh no, plenty of broth and Maggi cubes. Then burnt toffee, mushrooms, hints of pipe tobacco. Walnuts and toasted hazelnuts. A little cocoa powder and clove. Instead of settling down, it seems to get thinner over time, adding in hints of fresh wood shavings as well.
Mouth: very woody and leathery now, it’s really not well integrated. It starts on a peppery kick, quickly turning towards burnt caramel, molasses, some rubbery notes and cloves. Plum spirit. Quite harsh, with some dark chocolate in the end but also a slight bittersweet note, like an unappetizing cough syrup.
Finish: long, still on this bittersweet note, coffee and mushroomy notes. Even a chemical hint, boo.
While Benriach impressed me lately, GlenDronach seems to be losing its feathers, giving up the sherry character it became famous for and chill-filtering along the way (I’m sure you’ve heard). Cask Strength Batch 1 and Batch 4 were highflyers, but this is totally unconvincing. In fact this is the worst Cask Strength release I’ve had so far. Simply avoid it.