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Glendronach 12 Year Old - Original Double Cask

Average score from 10 reviews and 39 ratings 85

Glendronach 12 Year Old - Original Double Cask

Product details

  • Brand: GlenDronach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Glendronach 12 Year Old - Original Double Cask

For those of you who read my last review will know that I adopted a unique form of scoring to expand the range typically used. After some discussion it is clear that this creates confusion, so from now on I will revert to a scale in-line with the standard and consistent with other reviews.

This GlenDronach Original 12 is well presented. Its colour is a dark golden-red and its labelled as being matured in Pedro Ximinez and Oloroso casks.

I have poured neat without any water added.

Nose: A strong hit of sherry, this goes beyond the subtle notes given by a typical sherry finish and delivers a full sherry experience, so much so that other notes are almost completely drowned out. There are hints of barley and pleasantly no raw acetone notes present.

Palate: Medium bodied with a strong delivery of sweet dried fruit combined with slightly sour fig and fruit peel backed by a distant hint of aniseed.

Finish: Is long with an unwavering dry sherry wood taste that fades tasting as it started.

Overall this whisky will appeal to those who enjoy a sherry bomb. I don't consider it to be well balanced due to the domination of the heavy sherry maturation, somewhat hiding the character of the spirit. I can't be sure how much is hidden and how much is simply influenced. It behaves like a well aged whisky and doesn't hold back from delivering its own style. It's worth a try if you are after a full sherry experience.


For a standard entry level bottling this is a good representation of the Glendronach line. I think the 15yo ought to be the bottle to have on the shelf. I have the 8yo (discontinued) on my shelf and will get to it in the coming months. This bottle though, I found benefited from a few weeks of oxidization. These notes are toward the bottom of the bottle 6 weeks in.

Nose: Heavy thick sherry, let it settle for 10min and is smooths out and becomes very pleasant. Very sweet; boiled fruits. Some raisins or sultanas. Bit of a sour fruit almost a rind; but just a hint of bitterness. An slight astringent note.

Mouth: Slow development. A sweet note in the middle. A gentle syrupy feel (like cough liquid). Touch of malt. Sour tang.

Finish: Sour. Peppery, slightly hot. A edge of wood. Medium to long finish. Lasting mouth feel (fairly typical)

I would recommend this to friends and whisky converts looking for a decent heavily sherried whisky.

@KMullaney I have just reviewed this one myself. Not exactly what I was expecting it to be and I didn't get that beautiful raisin or sultana note, almost like it was too heavy for that. Fairly accurate review here based on my experience with it, keep them coming.


I had this bottle sitting in my cabinet for roughly 2.5 years before popping it open tonight. There was an oily like substance floating at the top the whole time that caught my attention but little did I know the cork was gonna be the real issue.

Upon popping the seal off, the cork broke into two pieces. By pure chance and miracle I managed to wiggle it out bit by bit until fully popping it out, quickly replacing it with a spare (Always good to keep a few dozen of those lying around for times like these)

This was bottled at 43% and matured in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks exclusively. Non-chill filtered and no colouring added.

Nose - Rich creamy sherry with loads of sweet fruits; raisins, cherries, grapes, figs, sweet berries and vanilla. Some candy and vanilla in here to.

Palate - A heavy blast of sweet and rich creamy sherry, raisins, and loads of fruits. Big body and powerful. Maybe it was just my bottle but the initial hit of this was BIG. Good stuff!

Finish - Fairly long and smooth. Wood tannins and some more fruit and sweetness.

Conclusion: Besides the cork.. this whisky lived up to its nose. A good mix of sweet fruits and a good wallop of sherry.


Double cask matured in sherry and traditional oak casks, whatever those are, presumable second fill or bourbon casks. Whatever they were, they have made a light malt with a slightly rosy hue.

A very expressive nose with a nice balance of malt and fruit. The fruits are varied and include dried sultanas and raisins as well as fresher flavours of apples and plums. I also get a touch of aniseed in there as a spicy note.

Medium weight on the palate, malty again, but now with cinnamon and cloves. The fruitiness that remains from the nose is almost exclusively the dried fruits. The finish is quite dry and malty and of a good length.

This is quite a classy accessible little dram, definitely one I’d recommend to newbie’s.

@OlJas, "Bats and bowls with aplomb", I believe is a cricket term. More succinctly put would be an "all-rounder', meaning proficiency at both tasks. In horse racing an "all-rounder" exemplifies competency at all distances and types of ground...high praise for this 12 YO double cask.

Would anyone care to explain the clever title to us unenlightened masses?


When I reviewed The Glendronach 12 last year I mentioned that the bottle appeared to be tainted. There was a weird, burnt plastic taste that was quite repulsive. After a week opened, thanks to oxidation, the whisky settled substantially. However, the burnt plastic flavor still remained in the background. But, I knew that it deserved a second chance. And now here it is...a new bottle...Let's get down to it, shall we!

Nose: Big sherry, dark chocolate, over ripen grapes, clove, oak, caramel, dry raspberry tea, hybiscus.

Palate: At arrival, the big sherry dominates with traces of sweet raspberries and oak. Dark chocolate assaults the palate, not just dark, 90% cacao dark. At mid-palate, cloves and cinnamon tingle the tongue. The dark chocolate transforms to milk chocolate with caramel on burnt toast with a pinch of raspberries.

Finish: Medium to long. Slight effervescent. The sweetness resides and becomes semi-dry. A kick of that 90% dark chocolate returns strong and blankets the back of the tongue with certain presicion.

This is a robust 12 year old expression. The sherry influence of both Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso casks creates a three-punch combination of the dark and the milk chocolate followed by the dark chocolate once again. All intertwined in red berries. In the $45-$60 range it's hard to find another single malt with such intense sherry influence. For those budget-conscience, sherry anoraks, seeking a maximum yield sherry bomb, this is it!

I remember trying the 12 ages ago and not being too excited by it. And like you, I've had a tainted Glendronach before, so I'm a bit weary. But I'm really digging the Octarine these days, so maybe it's time to revisit the 12. Thanks for another solid review, @vrudy6.

One important thing that I forgot to mention is that the peat was quite noticeable, more than the average speyside. Thanks for the props @hunggar.


Delving further into the world of Glendronach. I would not call this one representative of the brand as far as I know, since it is more malty/bourbony than the older and more heavily sherried varieties.

First Vapor: Chocolate covered strawberries, very interesting.

Nose: Walnut oil, hay and honeyed cereal shortbread;
The built-up vapors are sneakers-and-solventy (walnut oil and balsamic). Subsequent breaths are shortbready (cereal-vanilla-butter) hay, with vanilla and faint strawberry follow-up.

Palate: Enters cereal hay, and picks up lemon peel. A strange vegetal hay sustains, and I can get a flash of that strawberry (but savory, stewed). Peaks with mouthwatering honey-cereal, if still vegetal.

Finish: Similar. Slightly drying vegetal tone underlies honeyed cereal and hay.

Very malty for a brand with a sherried reputation, which is explained by a double cask maturation. It seems to me that the sherry affects the nose rather than the palate, with nuts and fruit. Is that hay sensation coming from some peat? Interesting. A sample that was oxidized for a couple weeks did not change dramatically, but it did gain slightly grassier notes (as is common), so I marginally preferred this when fresh.

Within Glendronach, I find this most similar to the Octarine, but less salty grape/pumpkin and more malty hay. I prefer the Octarine by a couple points, for general improved balance. Outside Glendronach, I think I would consider this closest to the HP12— just more cereal honey and less sour. It is also reasonably close to Jura 10 Origin or especially their 16yo Diurach’s Own. The style is also somewhat similar to OP12 and Auchentoshan’s Three Wood (but maltier and less woody), both recommended.

My Octarine review, for comparison: connosr.com/reviews/glendronach/…


nose: a note of rum, walnuts, raisins, sherry (not that bomb as Glenfarclas in my opinion), light heather note, very very low and subtle smokiness, dried plums, vanilla, nutmeg, white pepper - the addition of water intensifies the sherry and honey aroma. I cannot believe this is a pure sherry matured whisky, there must be some ex bourbon casks involved here (there is a typical citrus-vanilla-apple note in the background)!

taste: spicy maltiness, heather, herbal notes, fennel, nutty, liquorice, reminds me a bit of Highland Park, like the little brother of the 12y old HP with more sherry but less complexity;

finish: medium-dry, angelica, radish aftertaste, again walnuts, nice bitterness from the european oak casks, but on the more bitter side which I personally like; for a sherry whisky the oak bitterness and spiciness is way more pleasant as the Glenfarclas one, which I personally associated to blood-iron-liver-tobacco, kind of unpleasant;

summary: oily and delicate for a 12y old single malt, it gives me a strong mediterranean sensation with that honey-oakey-herbal-sherry sensation. I bought the bottle for 21 Euros, so for a 12y old single malt its a phenomenal price! this bottle definitely surpassed all my expectations, a steal! easy drinking highlander, goes well as an aperitif with hard cheese (pecorino, queso manchego, parmiggiano, ecc.) and as a digestif, so for me it has a strong all-rounder potential. I will definitely buy the 15y old revival!

This is my favorite of the standard range. Affordable AND delicious. I'll be looking for the walnuts on my next bottle.


I must admit, I love the sweetness of a sherried single malt. However, sometimes I find the balance a bit off, and the sweetness gets a bit too much. Not so with this delight. This is my first glass, and I know already it will be a winner for me! Much like the first time I tried Highland Park 12 year old - only my first thoughts are that I like this even better! I first saw this in our local liquor store the other day. When I read the labels, I was very impressed: Double sherry casks, Non chill filtered, natural colours! And a very reasonable price! I came home and did a bit of research, not a lot of reviews about it. Today I was deciding which bottle to treat myself to, and this stuck in my mind. I guess I am one of contrasts: loving the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, and at times loving a milder sherried single malt. My first sip, and found this to unbeliebably smooth. It's also thick and syrupy, and just coats your tongue wonderfully. The nose and palate are definitely sherry, but there is an underlying dryness, even a bit bitter, that balances it out perfectly! I thought that the Aberlour a'bunadh was what I always thought the perfect scotch should taste like, but it just ends with too sweet a note. This one is perfect, with a bit of dryness at the end. The colour is brilliant, a dark and rich copper which I find very appealing. I realize that everyone has different tastes, but this 12 year is what I might expect from an even older whisky. I am not very good a describing nose/palate etc. but will do my best!

I had to update my review to 94 instead of 92! The more of this I drink (now going to start on my second bottle), the more I realize it is the scotch that I have always been looking for. It has just the right amount of everything for me. Never too smooth to make it uninteresting. I even prefer it over the HP 12 year and 18 year, although I always preferred the HP 12 year over the 18. This has a beautiful sweet nose, but still the sherry is not overdone on the palate. More honey-like than sherry. It always has just the right amount of burn, on the tongue and going down. Beautiful dry aftertaste, without lingering sweetness. How I wish that I could get the 15 and 18 year over here as well! From the outset, when I first saw this at the shop, I was impressed by the fact that it is non chill filtered and natural colour! The only other Glendronach available here is the 33 year, in an absolutely stunningly beautiful mahogany handmade cylinder. It is probably the most beautifully presented I have ever seen. If I could afford the $330. I would not hesitate to get it, and at some point I just might even if I can't afford it! I simply cannot get over how beautiful this single malt is! Cheers, Carl

I simply must comment yet again! This is definitely the most sublime whisky that I have personally ever had. Fortunately, I have tried some wonderful whiskies, and have a few excellent ones in my collection. Among my favourites: Ballantine's 17 Years Old, Highland Park 18 Years Old, Glengoyne 10 Years Old, Johnny Walker 15 Years Old vatted single malt, and Glendronach Original 12 Years Old. The Glendronach is the one that simply never lets me down in the slightest. The others, I have to often be "in the mood" for. Even when I don't feel much like having a whisky, I can pour a Glendronach 12 Years, and the first sip always overwhelms me. It just has that perfect balance of sweetness, smoothness, palate and nose. And that full, rich body with the syrupy consistency! Truly my idea of what a real Scotch Single Malt should be! Cheers, Carl


Glendronach was acquired by the BenRiach owners in the summer of 2008. To make that clear to consumers, they 'updated' the name to GlenDronach (with a capital D). And while Glendronach was one of the top 5 selling single malts some 40 years ago, the distillery struggled the last few decennia. In 1996 the distillery was even mothballed for 6 years. Production resumed in May 2002. For some reason, unbeknowst to many (myself included), they filled bourbon casks mainly and after 12 years gave the whisky it's finish in casksOloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry. That, ladies and gents - for those who did not yet fathom this - is the reason for the title of this review.

This GlenDronach 12 Year Old ‘Original’ Double Cask, relaunched in 2009, sold only 9000 bottles in 2008, but in 2009 the new owners were able to boost sales up to a staggering 150.000 bottles!

The nose is dominated by orange marmalade, daisies and lots of bourbon. There is some heather, hay and nuts - the last becoming more prominent upon a second whiff.

The mouth offers sherry and oak, almonds, honey, jam and even a tad of white chocolate.

The finish - reasonably dry - surprises you with its spiciness. Not exactly a grand dram, but very well balanced.

In Belgium, you can buy this bottle for approx. 35 EUR.

Hey Mark

I thought it's very common to age/mature in Bourbon casks and finish in Sherry casks. So I don't really understand the review title. And I thought the 12yo is only matured in Oloroso/PX and not in Bourbon casks. Is the bottle you are speaking about not the standard 12yo? I am confused :S

Btw. I just tasted the Glendronach 12yo the first time, really a very good dram... especially for that price!

Wills, I understand what you mean, but in the case of GlenDronach, they are best known for maturing in sherry casks. So for them to mature first in bourbon and then finish is sherry is something atypical.


I've talked to the new distillery owners at the spirits in the sky festival in Belgium, Leuven. I've tried the 12 year old being told that they are going back to the original sherry flavor.

I am not such a sherry fan, but why not let's try it. I must admit that this whisky is real good. It is fruity, you taste the sherry but it has such a nice balance. Good work!

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