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Glendronach 18 Year Old Allardice Sherry Cask

Darkness...

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@hunggarReview by @hunggar

7th Sep 2015

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

GlenDronach 18 doesn’t get much love. Its 15 year old brother seems to be the brand’s poster child, and a benchmark to which the rest of the range gets compared. As the 18 year old is both more expensive and less “accessible,” it’s perfectly normal that it takes a bit of flak. But we’ve still got to try it, haven’t we?

Nose: Deep, dark, and very fruity. Huge sherry, raisin, Christmas cake, prune juice, strawberry, Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange, leather, oak, and black forest cake.

Palate: Rich, silky, and mouth-coating. Black forest cake, molasses, Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut, walnuts, raisins, leather, and some cayenne pepper.

Finish: Somewhat long. Gets much nuttier here. Pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Dark chocolate, molasses, whipped cream, dates, wet oak, ginger, leather, and fennel (think mukhwa).

Thoughts: “Darkness, everyone!” It’s a pretty brooding ‘Dronach. Those Oloroso casks were "active" to say the least. As comparing it to the Revival is mandatory, I’ll start off by saying no, it’s not as good. It’s not as bright or accessible as the 12 or the 15. Closest perhaps in character to the Platinum 16, as it’s a dark, serious creature. It’s murky, with a sweeping molasses note leaving many of the peripheral flavours slightly out of focus.

Still, there’s enough charm here. First, the prune juice nose. No, I wouldn’t want all whisky to smell like this, but it works here. Next there’s the rich, silky mouthfeel, which fools us into thinking it’s a thicker whisky. Finally, the dark, fruity character has both depth and intensity. It’s certainly the darkest of the regular ‘Dronachs, which throws people off, I’m sure. I do think it has a place in the range, although it’s too heavy to come back to with much frequency. Solid, but no legend, admittedly.

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5 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@hunggar, thanks for an interesting review. I want to taste this 18 yo Allardice.

I am a huge fan of Glendronach Cask Strength, but I've never had any Glendronach 15 yo Revival with good sherry quality. Are you tasting any sulphur here in the 18 yo? I hope not.

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@Victor, no sulphur here, thankfully. However I know that the 15 isn't consistent on that front. As I've only known this one bottle of 18, I can't comment on its consistency.

4 years ago 0

Taco commented

Okay, I reeeaaally like this stuff. I've had many bottles of the 15 over the years, but finally decided to buy a bottle each of the 15 and 18 to do a HTH over several months. I won't go into detail describing it as you have done quite well. When first opened, the 15 was preferable, both on the nose and palate. However, over the months, the 18 really opened up into a lucious, full-flavored darkly sherried delight. It really shouldn't be compared to the 15, as the profile is very different, being more comparable to (but better than) Dalmore 15. I would love to keep both on hand since they are so different and great, but the much higher price for the 18 makes that unlikely.

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@Taco, thanks for your two cents. Yeah I can see someone liking this a lot. I don’t dislike it; I just find it heavy to come back to very often. My good friend thoroughly disagrees with me as well. He loves it, and can go through a bottle of Allardice much quicker than I can. Personally I prefer a lighter sherried touch, that’s just the kind of palate I have. Among my favourite Dronachs is the 8 year old Octarine, which is matured in sherry AND bourbon. It’s the opposite of the dark, luscious, full-flavoured character of the 18.

As for the Dalmore 15, I can see where you’re coming from in terms of similarities. Dark, brooding sherry. I’d say it’s closer still to Dronach’s Platinum 16, as I mentioned above. That might be one to look out for if it’s available to you. I actually like it a little more than the Allardice.

4 years ago 0

@Jules
Jules commented

Curious that you don't list any cherry-cola/liqueur notes, as I found this the overriding factor on the palate. It isn't bad, but I find it too one dimensional for an 18 year old (that is probably a lot older...) and would sooner spend a little extra for a similar ages single cask.

3 years ago 0

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