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GlenDronach Cask Strength – Batch 12 (58.2%)*


GlenDronach Cask Strength – Batch 12

We can often think of sherry casks as being quite one-tone: PX gives you flavours like sticky black fruit and rich aromatic spice, while Amontillado casks are bright and nutty and sweet. But there’s huge variation within each style. Buchanan says that oloroso casks, for example, are slightly temperamental and that you never quite know what they’ll give you. Two vintages could give you a colour of tea or coca cola, but he loves this variance because it gives Dr Barrie a wider palette to play with. If she wants to create a whisky that demonstrates more distillery character, she can go to the lighter side of the oloroso scale. That’s where the craft is in The GlenDronach cask strength batches, balancing the oloroso parts first and then understanding how the PX works to that foundation.

Buchanan thinks the PX was more dominant last year, noting that in other expressions the oloroso is, and sometimes the spirit character. This year is more of the latter in my opinion, and I think the balance is on point. Dr. Barrie has measured this to create a whisky where the casks don’t overwhelm those base notes, as Buchanan puts it. The casks are not competing or dominating, nothing gets in the way of the other. It’s an explosion of bramble berry tart sweetness complemented by apricot, leather, marmalade, sandalwood, and dark chocolate. The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 12 is another winner, one that really shines when you add a drop or two of water to open up the liquid and let that fruitiness sparkle.

GlenDronach Cask Strength – Batch 12

Region: Highland

Nose: Bramble berries, mocha, ginger, and dried apricot are joined by heavy spices, leather, sandalwood, and a little cigar box aroma.

Palate: Posh dark chocolates, marmalade, roasted nuts, cherry, stewed dried fruit, blackcurrant cough sweets, with some musty dunnage earthiness in support.

Finish: Toasted caramel, dark fruit, and more chocolatey goodness remain.

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