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GlenDronach launched a new entry level malt, having the guts to put an age statement on the label. The Hielan is 8 years old and a mix of bourbon and (in a much lesser degree) sherry casks. It costs only 35 EUR, which is very fair for a single malt. The Hielan simply means The Highlander, which I find a bit weird for a Speyside malt. I know, I know, the Speyside is part of the Highlands, but you know what I mean. Moving on.
Very aromatic nose with loads of farmer’s butter, sultanas, mirabelles, walnuts and caramel. It has a floral side that I am not very fond of, but overall this is a fine nose. For an entry level malt, I mean. Let us not forget how young this is.
The body is a bit light. Quite sweet on malt, vanilla and grain cookies. Frosties with pepper, should that exist. And quite some ginger too. A bit piquant. It evolves towards nuts to end in a touch of stale ale. Hmm. Quite a bit of toffee, making it stick to the teeth, sorta.
The finish has a decent length, but does become somewhat bitter towards the death.
As an affordable entry level malt, this is fine, but I know GlenDronach mostly as the distillery that releases fantastic stuff. This does not really fit that description. Thanks, Imanuel!