Review No.80. Glendronach 12 Year Old

I have mentioned a few times that I tend not to follow the idea that regional profiles define a distillery although I keep falling into that trap.  Glendronach is a good example of how you can get caught out by this.  They state they represent the true highland style – whatever that is. They are a highland distillery based within speyside that are known for maturing their malts in ex Pedro Ximenez and/or Oloroso Sherry casks.  Something that certain distilleries in the speyside region are known for such as Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas and Aberlour.  Just to further confuse you, speyside is a region within the highlands so distilleries such as Glenfarclas choose to label themselves as highland although they are within the speyside sections.  The Glendronach range spans from an 8 year old to 10, 12, 15, 18 and 21.  A vertical tasting session on their core range should be educational. Anyway, onto this one then.


Whisky: Glendronach 12 Year Old Single Malt, 43%

Nose: Musky leather, vanilla, cherry, dried fruits, berries, oranges

Taste: Jam, plums, malt, barley sugar, vanilla, honey, mulled wine, oak

Finish: Dried fruits, nuts and oak

Score: 3.25

Summary: This is a very drinkable malt.  I feel quite lucky to have come across some decent malts recently (Deanston and Glengoyne) and this is up there too in terms of quality and flavour.  The cask influence shows for sure in this and it is kept in check too.  There are no hints of too much oak, bitterness and tannins.  It is just pure fruitiness and nuttiness.  The strength (43%) feels just right too, I did not need to add water to this as I was finding enough complexity as it came from the bottle.  I will be working my way through the rest of their range.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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