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Glendronach 21 Year Old Parliament Sherry Cask

Midsummer Night's Dram

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@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

22nd Jun 2014


Glendronach 21 Year Old Parliament Sherry Cask
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Don’t think anyone is going to fight me on this, but Glendronach is one of the best distilleries out there at the moment. The miracles in cask selection the people of Billy Walker performed after the take-over in 2009. So much that the 15yo revival in no time, became an all-time favorite with the whisky crowd. So what about one of its older brothers: next to the 18yo the official range offers a 21yo expression, called Parliament.

Colour: red amber, given that Glendronach does not add any e150 to their bottlings, it is quite impressive

Nose: great nose, with lots of elements that I generally associate with other beverages. Powerful but refined notes of sherry and lighter tones of sweet wine, rum and coffee, a bit bitter, dark chocolate and some slightly meaty tones, like cooked ham. Underlying are notes of chopped parsley, some fruity elements: oranges, figs and cherries, with a whiff of peaty smoke. Lastly, a strange hint of latex paint, but not unpleasant.

Mouth: fresh grape juice on the palate evolves into bitter tones of coffee, orange, blackberries, more notes of ham, with spices: cloves, ginger and nutmeg,

Finish: long and lingering. More notes of wine and coffee, a touch of liquorice, lychees, dark chocolate, strips of leather, tobacco, with a light undertone of vanilla and orange oil.

Conclusion: A beautiful nose that reminds me of other sherry monsters, but less rough and much more refined. Fine on the palate, though the nose raised my expectations and it didn’t completely live up to it. Then again, this is a very fine whisky, smooth and not in any way abrasive (even for a 48%ABV). I’m just going to say it, this is another great whisky, The charismatic 15yo has a wiser, posh but smooth brother and it will be hard to choose.

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Rigmorole commented

Any sulfur in the finish? Rumors of sulfur have kept me away from the 21. Wish Glendronach would rechar their barrels more to burn off the sulfur. Ditto with Bladnoch

9 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

No notable traces of sulphur. Than again, I've never had any bad encounters with sulphur before that were too dominant and ruined the whisky. Glendronach is a smaller distillery owned by a smaller player in the field, so they'll have a hard time obtaining any premium sherry casks.

Plus recharring seems like really bad idea. Sherry casks are normally never charred like their American counterparts, only toasted. (Maybe an explanation for the sulphur hints doesn't come from sulphur candles but from casks that have not been toasted enough to absorb the sulphur that remained after the distillation process) The goal of maturing the whisky in a sherry cask is to add the fresh and fruity elements of the sherry to the whisky, charring the cask would probably ruin those influences. And why would you invest in a sherry cask, then?

9 years ago 0