I really should learn Japanese. This Shinanoya shop in Tokyo has released some awesome whiskies over the years and I just don’t have a chance of being in time for them. This cask from GlenDronach gets some ridiculously high scores on Whiskybase too, albeit from only two members.
The only things I’ve tasted from Shinanoya is based on samples I’ve gotten here and there, and this one was a recent addition to my sample list from Govert van Bodegom, one of the Longmorn Brothers. He wanted to thank me for sticking up for him in a recent Facebook discussion on plastic versus glass sample bottles.
Our statement boils down to food grade plastic being a very good alternative for glass, and something that might only be a little bit less ‘romantic’ in the eye of the beholder. Especially when it’s been tested on food and drinks, there should (and is) no technical problem. Maybe only if you leave the sample for years. Which I don’t intend to do.
Govert should know, since he is a professional in the food industry (and by industry, I mean industry, like factories and stuff). I don’t mind listening to folks with lots of experience.
And neither should you. Just drink the bloody stuff already.
Anyway, a 10 year old GlenDronach doesn’t generally surprise anyone since about every private bottler, club or wealthy individual bottled a 2002 or 2003 GlenDronach, from either Sherry, Bourbon or Virgin Oak casks. This one is from a Bourbon cask.
Much, much more timid than a 56.6% dram would make you expect. The richness of GlenDronach comes through nicely, even though the cask was very active. It’s rich with loads of vanilla and warm, ripe fruit. Mango, papaya, straw, tinned pineapple. Some gentle baking spices too, very gentle ginger, like ginger snaps. The pineapple notes are getting stronger after a while.
The palate is more fierce, with some serious alcohol going on. Lots of fruit too, the yellow kind. Mango, pineapple, a hint of sweet orange (Valencia). It gets more and more chili pepper. A very rich, syrupy texture with vanilla and ginger, but mostly fruit.
The finish is still very fruity, and the alcohol is warming. The bourbon cask’s vanilla notes are stronger, with even a hint of sweetened coconut. A long finish that becomes slightly more spicy towards the end.
I can see this one scoring very high. It’s an awesomely delicious whisky with big fruity tones and the very rich GlenDronach spirit to back it up. I don’t think I’ve tried many GlenDronachs from bourbon casks, especially if they were as good as this, I think I’d have remembered.
The sweet pineapple notes are lovely and work surprisingly well with the heavy spirit of GlenDronach. I would have expected more contrasting flavors, but that’s not the case at all.
Shame this is gone, because I wouldn’t have minded to get my hands on one. I should start paying more attention to Shinanoya, I guess. They even have a ‘Product Purchase Guide’, which is funny since I think that with the same effort they could have made the site available in English too.
GlenDronach 10yo, 2003-2013, cask #67, 56.6% for Shinanoya
Thanks to Govert for the sample!