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GlenDronach 1994 17 Year Old Cask #671

Who Let The Monster Out?

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

20th Oct 2016


GlenDronach 1994 17 Year Old Cask #671
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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This sample was generously given to me by Conrad Gierer. I haven't been able to find out much about it, except that it is one of the Single Cask Glendronach releases. Distilled in 1994, it spent 17 years in a sherry butt (sorry, I don't know what kind of sherry).

The colour is a deep dark red. On the nose - big fat raisins, cloves and dark chocolate, all with a light ribbon of papaya, red grape and freshly ground espresso in the background. To say this shows "sherry cask influence" is a massive understatement! In fact, it's too much - what should be notes of baking spices is actually full-blown Angostura bitters. A bit of sulphur as well, but that note is tamed by water, which also adds some spice. If you love your sherry monsters, though, you'll think more of this than I do.

Very alcoholic on the palate, with more dates, raisins and a huge tannic quality, almost like red wine. More herbal, and less sulphuric, than the nose. There is some fruit in the background but, again, it's just too much full-on sherry. A bit of water helps, but there is still too much burn (and I've now added a fair amount) and with time, it becomes quite bitter. Challenging.

The medium-length finish is great though, full of more red grapes, cigar ash and Christmas cake. I've had many fantastic single cask GlenDronachs, who are masters with the sherry cask; unfortunately, this is not one of them. Far too overpowering - I can barely discern any malted barley spirit in this. Sherry lovers can go to town with this; to others, you have been warned.

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Nozinan commented

Guess I'm going to town. I tasted this when the bottle that led to your sample was opened. I was so overwhelmed with how good it was that I resolved to save my bottle for my retirement (it was distilled the year I started my medical studies).

The information I have on this cask is that it was number 1503 (which I know carries "excessive" significance), was distilled Nov. 11 1994 and bottled on August 2012 (so just shy of 18 years). The Oloroso sherry puncheon yielded 671 bottles.

@Nosebleed has assured me there will be some left for me to try when I return to Calgary this year (in a H2H with the 16 YO single cask we bought this year). Maybe it was great out of the block but has lost its way with air and time, though I think he gasses. Maybe it was the sample bottle. I will let you know.

but now you had me worried. I had essentially written off a bottle of 12 YO Bladnoch and then you gave your sample a great review, after which I retried it and enjoyed it. I'm scared that things will go the opposite way with this one.

@Paddockjudge may have something to say about this one. I believe he has (had?) a bottle of this open earlier in the year.

7 years ago 0

talexander commented

Ah OK. The label on the sample said "Batch 671", which explains why I had so much difficulty finding any information on it. I assumed that actually meant "Cask 671" but I was mistaken. Oh well. I imagine there must have been an awful lot of "swish" left in that cask after they "emptied" the sherry.

7 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

It might be bottle number 671, but definitely not Batch 671. I have an open bottle from the same cask, Glendronach 1994 Single Cask 17 YO Oloroso Sherry Puncheon #1503, 54.9% abv. bottle number 544/671.

I much prefer this one to Glenfarclas 105 10YO and so do the recently arrived fruit flies, by the ratio of 5 to 2. A definite fruit bomb! I'm struggling to find sulfur as the sherry dominates. The 105 has left me craving an egg salad.

7 years ago 0

talexander commented

OK thanks! Yes, my sample was from the same cask as your bottle. Well, to each their own!

7 years ago 0