The Glendronach distillery is located at the South east corner of the Speyside whisky producing region, in the little town of Huntley (see map).
The distillery has an interesting story behind it. It was founded on 1826 James Allardice to produce the “Guid GlenDronach” single malt. The distillery kept on working managed by people such as Walter Scott (1847) , and nd Captain Charles Grant in 1920. In the 1960s it was bought by the William Teacher & Sons, and most of its produce went into the well known Teacher’s blend. In 1996 the distillery was mothballed (distilling came to a standstill, but equipment was in tact, so production can resume at a later state) by its owners Allied Distilleries. In 2002 the distillery re-opened and in 2005 the Chivas brothers took over when Allied Distilleries was taken over by Pernod Richard. In the same year, the distillery was modernized as to use steam heating , rather than the coal fire used in older times.
In 2008 the distillery was bought by Benriach (an independent distilling company) . The Benriach company (which also own the Benriach distillery) rekindled the fire in the old distillery and also launched new Expressions such as the 15 (revival) and 18.
Currently the distillery offers malts aged 12,15,18 and 33 years. I have tasted the 15 year old expression which is matured for at least 15 years in Sherry Oloroso casks.
GlenDronach 15 y.o “Revival” , 46%, £37(buy here)
Colour: Deep Gold.
Nose: On first whiff I got some Vinegar (balsamic) notes . On second whiff, the Sherried elements rise : Raisins, Prunes, Hints of Chocolate and toffee. All very appetizing, besides the vinegar notes. Oliver from the whisky rating blog, explains this as acetaldehyde which is not uncommon in heavily sherried malts.
Palate: Quite a thick and viscous body. Lovely mélange of Coffee, Dark chocolate, dried fruit (as the nose suggests) and treacle. Some spice as well. Very very good sherried profile. After I tool a few sips, I couldn’t resist and filled an extra portion form my sample into the glass. I couldn’t stop. Harmonious stuff!
Finish: Medium-Long, dominated by Espresso, and dark chocolate, with a hint of spice.
This is a very good dram. I am Glad this expression was re-issued last year since it’s a charmer.
Good work Glendronach. A good, but not perfect dram. Hope future bottling will eliminate that vinegar artifact. Then I could wholeheartedly recommend this one.
Other friends who reviewed the GlenDronach 15 on the blogosphere:
- Matt from Whisky4Everyone also liked this malt
- Oliver Klimek from the Whisky Rating blog gave it a 89 mark.
- Serge ABSOLUTELY Loved this one with a mark of 93!
- John Hansell from WDJK liked this one more than the 12, 18 expressions.