Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
It’s a shame I’m only now getting to know this whisky now after it’s already been pulled. Luckily there are still a few bottles here in Taipei left to be snatched up. With one open and another stored for a rainy day, I’m questioning whether that will be enough. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an 8 yr old quite as much as I do this one. And for a similar price, I can’t think of any other single malt out there that offers up this much complexity and personality. The reviewed bottle has been open for six weeks and is ¾ full.
Nose: Very fruity and complex. Toffee, sultanas, pumpkin, chocolate, marzipan, cinnamon, glazed ham, roasted nuts, tobacco, orange rind, stewed apples, and a gentle floral note. Wow, there’s a lot going on here.
Palate: Medium bodied arrival, with a dark, roasted caramel greeting. We quickly move into rich sherried fruit. There’s some berry jam and Christmas cake flavours here as well as loads of sultanas, oranges, pumpkin, chocolate, butter, stewed fruits, and roasted nuts. Along the way some SERIOUS spices make an appearance. Huge baking/Christmas cake spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili, allspice, woodspice, etc.
Finish: Those absurdly rich spices carry on. Finally we get oak, roasted nuts, apple cider, vanilla, hay, honey, toffee, butter, charcoal, glazed ham, onion powder, garlic, cinnamon, anise, almonds, chamomile, ginger, and raspberry jam.
This is something of an enigma for me. Based on the tasting notes you’d think this would be a very heavy, intense dram. Not quite. While it’s as rich and complex as the darkest, most brooding sherry monster, it’s considerably more light and casual. This is a completely different animal than the rest of the ‘dronach lineup. While I suspect there’s a good deal of whisky in here that’s older than 8 years, it’s still young, fresh, and clean. Also, the bourbon maturation hasn’t been completely eclipsed by the sherry influence, lending some lighter, brighter notes to the whisky.
The balance and complexity of this 8 yr old is really quite amazing. There’s a rich, complex sherry that is neither brooding nor imposing. There are light, bright bourbon notes that seem to pop up from time to time and lift the mood. Further lifting the mood is a youthful vibrancy and pep, with serious spices worked in that never get hot or rough. Somehow all of these things converge quite effortlessly. The result is my favorite Glendronach, as well as one of the most balanced and drinkable 8 yr olds I’ve ever had. This is definitely an oddball, but that’s what makes it great.