Whisky from the GlenDronach distillery is a truly delectable drop within its own right but their annual single cask limited releases is something rather special. In typical fashion, this year Glendronach released its 8th batch of Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, matured for ten years in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks from Andalucía.
At The GlenDronach, time-honoured production methods make sure that the distillery continually crafts a robust, elegant, and full-bodied Single Malt. With each Cask Strength release, Master Blender Rachel Barrie selects unique casks before bottling at cask strength, without the addition of water or chill filtration. Cask strength Batch 8 is bottled at 61% abv and as happens for all GlenDronach expressions, has absorbed its colour naturally from the Spanish oak sherry casks.
On the nose: there are notes of maraschino cherries, marmalade, raisins, vanilla and a treacle note. These initial notes are closely followed by notes of brown sugar, marzipan, lemon zest, toffee, a hint of a tropical note and liqourice. Some spicy notes in the form of star anise and cinnamon start to emerge. Completing the nose are notes of mint, bitter chocolate, pears, blackberries, figs and tobacco. On the palate: are notes of apples and pears, followed by marmalade and cracked black pepper. Notes of cinnamon, star anise and figs start to appear, alongside notes of lemon zest, butterscotch and a lovely creamy note. Rounding-off the palate are notes of mixed berries, dark chocolate, toasted oats, espresso, oak and a tropical note. The finish: is long, sweet, with lingering notes of ripe bananas, bitter dark chocolate and nutty flavour.
The verdict: This non-age-statement cask strength GlenDronach aged in Pedro Ximenez & Oloroso sherry casks, is delicious. It has a lot of 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 61%, it requires addition of water in my opinion. Though I’d suggest trying it first to gauge just how much is required to suit your palate.
This GlenDronach Batch 8 Single Cask Scotch Whisky can be found in any well-stock whisky shop or online for approximately £62.For more information on this Batch 8 release, visit The Glendronach website.