Glendronach Cask Strength is yet another NAS whisky aged in multiple (Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry) casks. I’m one of those who complains about such trends in the whisky industry, but who forgives all when the results are this good. If it’s a little one-dimensional, it’s still got all that malty, sherry-bomb Glendronach goodness kicked up to cask strength.
This will be my fifth dram from a bottle opened barely a week. I don’t think this bottle is going to last long enough to determine what changes time may have to offer. It’s fiery stuff that I take with anywhere from a couple of drops to nearly a teaspoon of water, depending on the courageous nature of my tongue.
Nose: Sherry, hot cherry pie, warm rum cake, toffee, a little chocolate, and hints of oranges and orange peel. A thick, dense nose that’s the most layered component of the experience.
Palate: Much spicier than anything suggested by the nose. Arrives like a spicy rum, then the sherry and malt pretty much wipe everything else away and hang around for some good swishy mouth time. Random taste buds also pick up some vanilla, citrus fruit, allspice, and chocolates of all varieties (white, milk, and dark). This is one whisky for which the palate lives up to the promise of the nose.
The finish is long lasting, but the flavors narrow and dissipate as some slightly bitter young oak emerges. The citruses and spices are strong pleasant aspects, however.
It’s a good enough whisky to barely justify its price tag, I suppose (although mine was a gift, so I have no complaints!). I’d be more comfortable recommending it at $50 cheaper, however. Don’t know how many Batch #2 bottles are still available (Batch #3 was released about a month ago). If you’re a fan of the 15 yo Revival and might like some of its better flavors at cask strength, then Glendronach CS Batch #2 might be worth the search and the extra bucks.