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Glendronach 18 Year Old Allardice Sherry Cask


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@OnibubbaReview by @Onibubba

4th Feb 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Right up front, when I say deceiving, I mean that this whisky does not deliver what I feel is promised by its position as a distillery's 18 YO expression. How can a whisky whose ABV is 3% higher than its 12YO brother deliver such watered down tastes? And yet, that is what the Allerdice delivers.

Nose: Absolutely zero alcohol burn. I am sniffing strong enough to snort and all I get is the faintest of sherry and chocolate. The extent to which I have to work for even this, is frankly, exhausting.

Taste: A demanding swish finally releases some numbing alcohol, but after the burn fades (quickly) it leaves a dry bitterness. Unsweetened dark chocolate, Tannins and oak.

Finish is longs, but not entirely pleasant. Dark unsweetened chocolate. Bitter. Mouthfeel is watery. A quick sip yields a more concentrated flavor profile than I get from swishing. Cocoa, bitter raw honey, dry, then it is gone.

The degree to which the 12YO expression outshines this whisky is simply stunning. The Original is more expressive in every way, even at 43%.

I eagerly await the opportunity to try the much lauded 15YO Revivial, but I will never buy this whisky again.

Price comparison: 12YO 54.00. 18YO 114.00.

Related GlenDronach reviews


systemdown commented

Cheers for the review, can I ask how long you had this bottle open before you reviewed it (just curious)?

From your description, it sounds to me as if this whisky is pretty well closed up which can happen if it hasn't had enough time to open up.

10 years ago 0

Onibubba commented

About a week and 1/2. A little less than 3/4 bottle remaining.

10 years ago 0

systemdown commented

Okay thanks, and I just realised how silly my last sentence sounds, my apologies for that.

I do hope this opens up with more time to breath, perhaps after about 2 months it should exhibit more character? Perhaps you could post a follow up in the comments here, if you choose to do so.

10 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

Have you tried a wee bit (literally one or two drops) of water with this one, or has this one opened up in the last seven weeks with just the bottle being open? I'm very curious about this bottle.

10 years ago 0

Onibubba commented

Revisiting Glendronach 18. Here we are at only a couple inches left in the bottle. I have been using Private Reserve on most of my scotches, and it seems to work well on most. The Glendronach nose comes through much better now. Quite a bit of caramel, not as much chocolate as the 12YO. A bit of somewhat off putting sourness, but still, much more to the nose than when I first opened the bottle.

The alcohol is still much more noticeable in taste. Neither the 12YO, nor the 15YO have this problem. I just cannot taste the age on this whisky. There is no smoothness. It just does not work for me.

I will say that being open for some time has improved this bottle. I would still buy either the 12YO or the 15YO before this, but I would bump up the score a couple of points as of this tasting. Still, does NOT justify the price, and in no way makes me want to try the Parliament.

10 years ago 0

GregLogan commented

Pretty much agreed on all points. I have one good pour left of my GD18 - and will not soon purchase another bottle. It was good to hear of the satisfaction of the GD12/15.... Next time I am out drinking, I will try one. I had sort of blown off Glendronach after the Allardice. I believe it is has been finished in a Sherry cask all of its good life (??). However, I recently became acquainted with the notion that the individual casks are VERY relevant - and that is more than intuitively logical... Therefore, all expressions are NOT the same as I have so often found. I realize the single malts are blends of many casks to sort of equalize defects and the like. I suppose a single cask could be a real treat if it is the right one (I am working through a Bruickladdich 20 finished in a single Chateau Margaux cask.... (want the cask number.. :-) )and it has been one of my best treats - which shows they picked a great cask and went with it... no need to blend for this $200+ bottle... !! Greg

10 years ago 0

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