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I happened to have three GlenDronachs lying around tripping over each other, so lets compare, shall we?
The GlenDronach 12 Year Old Original is the standard entry point into this wonderful distillery. It is fully matured in a combination of Pedro Ximinez and Oloroso sherry casks. It is non-chill-filtered and non-coloured.
The colour is a dark reddish amber. On the nose, very fruity with plums, rum-raisin, baking spices and lots of oak; this noses older than 12 years. Lots of red berries - and red grapes. Water brings out the malt and spice. Oaky, spicy and well-sherried.
On the palate there is a nice balance of grippy oak, and dark red and black fruits, especially blackberry and date. Cloves. Slightly vegetal, but only slightly. I get a creamier mouthfeel with a drop of water, which works very well. Just right for a fairly young sherried malt.
The finish is rich and deep with more baking spices, wine gums, oak and a very slight hint of sulphur. For a standard 12 year old malt, this is hard to beat, especially if you love sherried whiskies. Could have used with less sulphur at the very death of the finish, but no matter - this is a rich, scrumptious, lovely dram. It scored a Gold at the 2012 International Wine & Spirit Competition, and Jim Murray scores this a 92.