We do enjoy a drop or two of GlenDronach here , however, something that has always intrigued us is their Single Cask expressions – no two are the same. They are all truly delectable drops in their own right but their single cask selection is something rather special. Each year, Master Distiller, Rachel Barrie, specially selects a handful of individual casks from the warehouse at GlenDronach distillery, to be bottled as a ‘Limited Release’. With maturing whiskies that date back as far as 1968, there is an array of cask selections available: from hogsheads to puncheons and butts. With such a vast selection at Rachel Barrie’s disposal, each and every cask lends some remarkable varying characteristics that have developed during maturation.
On the nose: there is a warm invitation of walnuts, musk, red apples, blackberries, tobacco leaf and chocolate. These are closely followed by notes of vanilla, with peppery oak, spices, cinnamon and white pepper. More notes in the form of treacle and maraschino cherries start to emerge and are nicely rounded-off by notes of espresso, some floral and tuscan leather. On the palate: notes of rich dark fruits are ever-present, along with hints of chocolate ganache, vanilla and plums. After a few swirls in the glass, notes of cherry and marzipan are surrounded by hints of orange peel, cinnamon and warm peppery spices. Rounding-off the palate is a hint of shortbread, almond oil, tobacco leaf and yellow plum. The finish: is long, smooth and sweet, with lingering muted spices, mellow oak and a leathery note.
The verdict: This 26-year-old single cask GlenDronach aged in a Oloroso Sherry Puncheon, is just as special as the previous single cask expression we tasted, perhaps even more so. It has such flavour, as well as texture, which lends to the overall experience. It is so full of depth and fruitful, sweet flavours but has enough subtle spices and lighter notes that truly complement this drop. With an ABV of 52.8%, for me it doesn’t require any water. Though if you feel the need to, then do so until it’s just right for you.
This GlenDronach 1994 26 Year Old Single Cask Scotch Whisky (Cask #4363) can be purchased online or in-store at any well-stocked whisky shop for approx. £300. For more information visit glendronachdistillery.com.