We’ve posted tasting notes on a lot of GlenDronach, which is no coincidence seeing as it is one of our favourite distilleries. However, this dram is a little bit different. The Peated expression is a rare example of GlenDornach’s Highland Single Malt Scotch, made in the old style from the malted barley dried with Highland peat, which differs in character to Islay peat. Highland peat is much subtle than Islay peat, which imbues the spirit with regional notes of wood smoke and smouldering charcoal, which is layered over GlenDronach’s archetypal fruitiness, giving the final whisky its own range of unique flavours and aromas. This Peated expression pays homage to the peat historically used to dry the malted barley in the traditional floor maltings during the early days of the distillery. Matured in Bourbon casks, followed by a second period of maturation in the finest Oloroso and PX Sherry casks.
On the nose: you’ll be welcomed by notes of honey, caramel, toffee and vanilla. Spicy notes of cinnamon, white pepper start to emerge, alongside notes of aniseed and a hint of peat. Notes of toasted barley, marzipan, marmalade and a hint of lime zest start to appear. Completing the nose are notes of brown sugar, gooseberries, charred oak, butterscotch, shortbread and a hint of ground coffee. On the palate: those notes orange marmalade, honey and toffee are ever-present, alongside notes of stem ginger and a hint of peat. These initial notes are closely followed by notes of white pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and toasted barley. Rounding-off the palate are notes of milk chocolate, rosehips, espresso and fresh mint. The finish: is long, bittersweet, with lingering notes of charcoal and crisp fruits.
The verdict: This Peated expression from GlenDronach had me intrigued. But as mentioned before, Highland peat is much more gentle than Islay peat, so I kind of had an idea what to expect. However, it exceeded my expectations and even more so considering it is a non-age statement expression. This Peated expression has got a perfect balance of lighter, warm, summery notes combined with Glendronach’s signature sherry undertones and a touch of smoke. With an ABV of 46%, it doesn’t require any water in my opinion. Though if you feel the need to, then do so until it’s just right for you.
Glendronach Peated Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be found for approximately £45 online or in some specialist whisky shops. For more information on The Peated, visit the official GlenDronach website.