GlenDronach The Hielan’ 8 Year Old Single Malt Scotch: Located in Speyside, the GlenDronach distillery built in 1825, is a rather charming and old-distillery. Originally led by one James Allardice, they are well-known for producing some of the most beautiful sweet sherried style Scotch Whisky. While GlenDronach has made a name for itself, it has long been the key to Teacher’s blends. As mentioned before, GlenDronach are very well know for producing Scotch matured in ex-sherry Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez casks, which empart rich, sweet and creamy notes. The Hielan’ is a combination of both ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks. As far as I am aware this is the first single malt expression from the GlenDronach distillery to feature an ex-bourbon finish as well as ex-sherry.
On the nose: you’ll experience an initial waft of sweet dark sherry, followed by aniseed and vanilla. After a couple of swirls notes of mixed fruits, alongside oranges, raisins and plums start to emerge. You’ll be able to smell notes of marzipan, cloves, cinnamon and a hint of zest. To round off the nose is a meaty sulphur note, butterscotch and a subtle oaky note. On the palate: those sweet sherries nosed aren’t so predominant, however, those warm spices, raisins and butterscotch appear first. These are then followed by apricots, ginger snaps and almonds. There is an ever so light note of lavender and oak. With all these notes on a palate combined the only thing that comes to mind is Christmas cake. The finish: is long, with sweet mixed fruits, lingering spices and butterscotch.
The verdict: I don’t believe I have ever knowingly tasted a whisky that is younger than 10-years-old, so this is a first. This scotch from GlenDronach named “The Hielan” is somewhat of an interesting dram from GlenDronach as mentioned before and for anybody’s first foray into GlenDronach, this is good place to start. While it may not tickle everybody’s taste buds I think it is a brilliant entry-level scotch from GlenDronach, with some lovely notes that in my opinion are nicely balanced. With a ABV of 46% coupled with its immaturity, it does need just a few drops of water to sedate that spicy edge. Though it is still more than enjoyable without any.
GlenDronach The Hielan’ 8 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is available in-store from The Whisky Shop, for approximately £40.
For more information on The Hielan’ 8 Year Old , visit the official GlenDronach website.