Nose: One associates many things with the word 'Grandeur', and quite a few of them are to be found here on the nose: Polished wood for instance, stale air, a damp tobacco pouch, and the accompanying faint smoke from a previous lighting of the pipe. Despite this outwardly rounded demeanour, there is no shortage of younger and more sprightly notes, such as raisins and honey roasted peanuts, sugared butter and fried courgettes, and a tangy layer of treacle and marmalade. A sumptuous nose that does not belie its title.
Taste: The palate is initially less "stuffy" than the more outwardly pompous nose, there is a sweeter approach in the shape of rock candy and very sweet latte coffee. There is even a note of orange flan topped with cocktail cherries. This appears to be the quirkier side of grandeur, but the class is still apparent.
Finish: Now we're really starting to indulge..Dime bars and macadamia nut brittles, flapjacks and sherry-soaked ginger. This big softie heart is nonetheless guarded by a deceptive hint of smoke, the familiar tobacco from the nose, and some mineral infused oak. However just when an air of grandeur seems to have been restored, we're caught off-guard by a final jig of sweet wasabi. Noble eccentricity at its best.
Balance: Having tasted some of the newer and younger expressions coming out of this distillery, as well as some of the exceptional 1990's single cask bottlings that have been released recently, one can't help thinking that the new generation of Glendronachs may end up bathing in a greater glory than this previous generation before them. That said, this grand old dram has plenty of life still in it, and a charming character that you can't help but warm to, as long as you can spare the time to indulge it.