Unfortunately, this wasn’t hand-filled by me, but by whisky buddy SJ. He opened a bottle recently and was kind enough to give me a sample of it. I didn’t wait too long before tasting it, because it looked so gorgeous.
What also helps is that it’s a proper sherry cask, at cask strength, from arguably the distillery’s greatest vintage. I’ve had some great ones over the years, but it’s been quite a while. Not that they’re not available anymore, it’s just that they’re quite prohibitively priced, nowadays.
Interestingly the label doesn’t state what kind of sherry cask this was. Knowing GlenDronach it’s either Oloroso or PX, but I know I’m not great at deducting this from the flavors and aromas.
The incredibly rich sherried notes that are so typical for these kind of GlenDronach bottlings is present from the get-go. I had almost forgotten how glorious ‘Dronach from 1993 can be (almost).
Mountains of fruit, with cherries and blackberries leading the way. Tropical with mango, too. There are some hints of leather and baking spices, with cinnamon and clove. Rich oak, some earthiness, figs, dates, apricots.
It takes a few seconds before the almost 60% ABV kicks in, but even then it’s dry and hot, but not harsh. Dried fruits, oak, earth, baking spices. Cinnamon, clove, figs, dates. Also fresh fruit with cherries and blackberries. Leather, hessian. Some roasted notes, with dark barley and burnt oak.
The finish continues much down the same line, but quickly alleviates the heat so the sweet flavors of the palate get more room. Lots of fruit, lots of dark notes with leather and roasted barley.
Absolutely gorgeous stuff! Even though it’s so incredibly sherried, it’s incredibly how much depth and complexity this shows. Based on complexity and a slightly higher level of spiciness I would guess this to be an Oloroso cask, although being wrong wouldn’t be too surprising.
The layers of fruit leading the way, but being backed up by oak, barley and spices makes for a great dram, with lots to be discovered. Stunning!
It’s one of these moments on which I regret not stocking up on bottlings like this, but I don’t roll that way anyway.