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Glendronach has inspired a cult following in the last ten years or so. I've known about it for at least twenty years, but not because I'm some hipster who's "ahead of the curve" or who "knew it before it was cool". No, my Glendronach story is much simpler. My wife's grandfather always has a bottle of Glendronach 12 Year Old at his place and I'm one of the few people who drinks scotch with him. The first time I drank scotch with him, I had never heard of Glendronach, nor had anyone else I knew.
Neat from a Glencairn Glass
- Nose: dates, plums, dark chocolate at first, then a floral note that I don't normally associate with Glendronach, violets maybe. A longer rest reveals a bit of tobacco, caramel, and some dried cranberries. An even longer rest in the glass brings forward a bit of vanilla. Nobody tell Serge Valentin.
- Palate: rich arrival, warming with tons of caramel, cloves, a bit of nuttiness (walnuts?), dark cherries.
- Finish: long and lingering, plenty of spice (cloves, black pepper and nutmeg), tobacco returning, caramel, some dark cherries, with oak lingering.
- With water: I went against my instinct and added just a few drops of water. The floral aroma all but disappeared as dates, figs, and brown sugar rushed to the fore. I didn't find it hot or sharp at bottling strength yet it doesn't feel washed out by the addition of water either. If I had a full bottle, I might even try it with a big ice sphere. I think it could handle it.
- Thoughts: This is fantastic whisky. I always expect to enjoy Glendronach, and they haven't let me down yet. You'd think that with high expectations there's the risk of disappointment, but this dram really delivers.
Special thanks to brand ambassador John MacPherson for the sample.