We do enjoy a drop or two of GlenDronach here, however, a drop of liquid gold we couldn’t wait to get our hands on this year is this travel retail exclusive 16-year-old expression. The Boynsmill Estate, nestled in the Valley of Forgue, was established by James Allardice as the home for his GlenDronach distillery in 1826. It was here that Allardice discovered the rich depths of sherry cask maturation; marrying robust Highland spirit to Spanish cask, a tradition carried forward by The GlenDronach to this day. In the 19th century, both sherry and port were popularly enjoyed by Scotland’s gentry and their influence on Single Malt Scotch Whisky is still prominent today. The GlenDronach Boynsmill Aged 16 Years is a marriage of rich Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks from Andalucía, with the subtle influence of the finest port casks from the Douro Valley in Portugal.
On the nose: there is a warm invitation of mandarins, apricots, marmalade, toffee and aniseed. These notes are closely followed by almonds, all-spice, cinnamon, star anise and a touch of stem ginger. Notes of creme brûlée, chestnuts and plums start to emerge, followed by cherries and tobacco leaf. Rounding off the nose are notes of nutmeg, cranberries, sandalwood and a hint of truffle. On the palate: those plum and marmalade notes are ever-present, along side notes of dried fruits and apricots. Notes of brown sugar start to appear, as well as notes of all-spice and cinnamon, nestled among notes of rhubarb crumble and walnuts. Completing the palate are notes of maraschino cherries, tobacco, with a hint of aniseed and truffle oil. The finish: is long, bittersweet and spicy, with lingering notes of Christmas fruits, dates, apricots and a warm nuttiness.
The verdict: This 16-year-old GlenDronach aged in a PX, Oloroso and Port casks, is something rather special. 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 46%, 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 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is exclusive to Travel Retail and can be purchased for approx. £85.
For more information on The Glendronach , visit the official website.