As soon as Silver Seal is mentioned, my interest peaks. While they are an expensive bottler and by no means do I trust them blindly with two hundred hard earned euros, they do have an impressive track record.
My favorite bottling so far is their 18 year old Highland Park, which I was lucky enough to review a few years ago. It still pains me that I didn’t buy it when it was less than half the current market value.
I heard, from the grapevine, that Silver Seal is extremely picky when it comes to cask selection. Probably more so than others, as far as I know.
GlenDronach is a distillery that focuses on sherry casks, and I have the feeling that that’s where Silver Seal’s preference also lies, so a combination of the two should result in some top notch whisky, I think.
Also, GlenDronach is a distillery that’s recently been sold to Brown-Forman, so we can only guess what’s going to happen there, in the near future. I think the focus of the sales and marketing divisions will shift towards the United States some more, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the single cask releases would be dialed back a notch or two. We’ll wait and see…
Obviously the sherry is available, and there’s tobacco leaves and oak. Some dates, both dried and their stones. A bit of red fruit after a while and it’s slightly earthy as well.
The palate continues to be earthy and has the flavor of those tobacco leaves. Slightly sharp and dry, but very rich too. Dried dates, the bitterness of the stones too. Lots of sherry with candied fruit. Not very typical, maybe even slightly meaty.
The finish is smooth with, again, that rich earthiness and the tobacco leaves. Very nice, not too sweet and quite long.
Well, this isn’t your textbook GlenDronach. It does have most of the denominators but it has far more too. It’s a tad more bitter and earthy, which happens to be characteristics I like. In a way, this reminds me of those great sherried Mortlachs that are quickly becoming extinct at the moment.
In short, this is an insanely good whisky. Quite an expensive one too, according to Whiskybase (it clocks in at some € 330 a pop). But still, to bottle share this would be a good one! Highly recommended.
GlenDronach 1990-2013, 22yo, cask 6921, 52.1%, Silver Seal