Back in 2019 The Whisky Exchange selected four casks of GlenDronach 1993 (cask #8933, 7405, 8634 and now cask #6853). Bottled all at once for their 20th anniversary, but released one by one as each ran out. Three of them sold out and now the last of the series hit the shelves.
This is definitely a re-racked whisky: several casks blended together and then married in another cask for a few months, sometimes years. This explains the yield of 505 liters – pretty much the theoretical capacity of a puncheon (normally 500, sometimes 600 liters) without any angel’s share. Not a single cask release, but this is a documented practice and they’ve removed any single cask references so all that matters now is the quality in our glass.
GlenDronach 26 yo 1993 (51,1%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2019, Pedro Ximénez puncheon #6853, 722 btl.)
Nose: a big focus on the fruits. Juicy cherries, figs, redcurrants, as well as loads of oranges and jammy plums. Aromatic top notes of rosehip, leather tea and shoe polish. Darker toffee, chocolate, raisins and almonds underneath. Probably sweetened by the PX cask but very round and balanced. Rather perfect.
Mouth: more chocolate notes now, as well as more wood spice and some burnt cake. Walnuts and hazelnuts, with caramelized sugars and treacle, leathery notes, cinnamon and nutmeg. Orangettes. The fruits are still there but they play in a darker register: blackberries and sultanas. A bit of brightness from cranberries. Hints of earthy oak char and polished notes.
Finish: long, balancing between oranges and chocolate, mingling with tobacco leaves, liquorice and menthol.
Let’s call a spade a spade: the PX puncheon is a trick to add fruity sweetness and mask any dry oak influence. The beauty of it all is that the cask juggling worked out perfectly, resulting in a richly sherried whisky with a bright and aromatic nose and a darker palate. One of the best casks I’ve tried after the legendary 15th January fillings. Exclusively available from The Whisky Exchange.