Last year I tried a GlenDronach that I really regret not getting a bottle of. Strangely though, I tried again in the Blind Tasting Competition and I wasn’t fond of it. Others had the same experience but upon trying that sample again some days later it was back to its former glory. Maybe something was a bit weird with the sample.
It was a 1993 vintage bottled for Abbey Whisky. This one.
Oh, the first time I tried it when I really, really loved it was blind too, if that matters. Still, I wish I had gotten a bottle, even though almost all my GlenDronachs are still closed and waiting to be opened at some point in time.
Now, Abbey Whisky is at it again, with another GlenDronach, at a similar age, just from a year later. The guys were awesome enough to send me a sample which I couldn’t set aside and had to try the day it came in.
The nose is massive with dried fruits. Not too heavy though, mostly candied orange and dried peach and apricot. Not the dates and prunes and raisins that you sometimes get. There’s a hint of polished leather and oak as well as praline. Maybe some hazelnut. Pretty sweet both in flavor and as a expression of something being quite awesome. Something autumnal too. Cigars and dried leaves.
The palate is sweet at first but a peppery dryness comes right after. It’s quite hot, and syrupy. Thick even. But with a chili burn that’s surprising. The fruits are slightly more heavy with the candied orange, peach and apricot from before, but with some dates in the mix too. Very thick and syrupy. Almost a honey like texture.
The finish is much more orangy, although that flavor soon gives way to leather, oak and dried peaches. Slightly drying again, maybe more than slightly. There is a beeswax thing going on too, which I find surprising.
This is a strange one. The flavors and scents are absolutely gorgeous, but that thickness on the palate is something I am having some trouble with. I don’t really understand it in a cask strength distillate.
But I shouldn’t complain. That texture is not a bad thing at all, and the flavors are gorgeous. Absolutely top notch stuff this, but that’s not that surprising with early 1990s ‘Dronach. So far, they’ve all been lovely.
With this being priced at not even £ 100 (some € 130 at the moment) it’s priced exactly where you’d expect it to be if it were a regular bottling. Generally those private releases are slightly more expensive, but Abbey Whisky refrains from that. Kudos to them.
GlenDronach 20yo, 1994-2014, Cask #3400, 54.8%, Bottled for Abbey Whisky. Get it there for £ 97.95
Full disclosure: I got this sample free of charge from Abbey Whisky. My views are honest though. Thanks a million, Abbey Whisky!