There is something special about a single cask from Glendronach and whilst i was once a big fan of the older expressions i have recently found myself leaning towards the younger bottlings. That said it is always nice to go back and try those older expressions just to remind yourself what you are missing.
Glendronach have over time released some stunning single casks of heavily sherried whiskies and judging this book by its cover ( the colour ) this could be something interesting.
Founded in 1826 the Glendronach distillery sits in the Highland region of Scotland, founded by James Allardes this distillery, like so many others used to have all the workers living on site, including the distillery manager, staff, excise man and all of their families… Unfortunately today this again like most others is no longer the case but If you visit the distillery today many of the old houses still remain.
The most famous of them all is Glen House, built in 1771 and has been the home to many of the distillery’s managers. Rumour has it that this famous old house has a permanent resident.. The front room is reportedly haunted by a Spanish lady, who travelled over to Scotland in a sherry cask. The heavenly being is said to be quite partial to the odd tipple now and then, maybe this is where the Angels share actually goes !!
The distillery was founded by a consortium including James Allardice in Forgue, Aberdeenshire and was only the second distillery to apply for a license to legally produce alcohol under the 1823 Excise Act..
Part of the distillery was destroyed by a fire and was re built in 1837. In 1852 Walter Scott takes control of the distillery but dies in 1887 when another consortium from Leith takes control.
Charles Grant then buys the distillery In 1920 for the sum of £9000 before selling it on in 1960 to William Teacher and sons.
The distillery is unfortunately mothballed in 1996 and stays silent until the 14th of May 2002 when owners Allied Distillers start production once again.
Closed for re furnishing ( changes from coal to steam heating ) in 2005 when Chivas Brothers take over but is soon sold again in 2008 when The Benriach Distillery Company Ltd takes control.
Brown Forman takes control in 2016 and soon brings in Rachel Barrie as Master blender for Glendronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh.
1990 – 31 year Glendronach Single Cask
Age.. 31 years
Cask.. Pedro Ximenez Puncheon
Nose.. Raisins and figs burst out of the glass dragging toffee, chocolate and coffee notes before allowing that distinctive dunnage warehouse musty note that can generally be found on these older expressions. There is a soft orange citrus note that along with stewed summer fruits and old leather bindings on books long forgotten bring a real elegance to the nose.
Palate.. Thick, chewy toffee, dark fruits, marmalade and freshly ground coffee beans lead perfectly into earthy honey ( Manuka honey ) old leather, struck matches and Turkish delight sweets that are covered in cheap chocolate ( in a good way ). The tannins eventually come through and bring more bitterness and spices.
Finish.. Long and earthy
Thoughts.. This is like saying hello to an old friend that you have not seen for many years, it is so familiar and yet so different from what you thought yo would be getting.
I must admit though it scares me to think 1990 is now 31 years ago.. That makes me feel so old and when we talk about this whisky as an old whisky that has matured into something this good and i have to wonder where the years have gone.
In 1990 i was living it up in nightclubs, meeting my wife and planning the rest of my life. 31 years later i am now enjoying this whisky and looking forward to becoming a grandad for the second time and this whisky just reminds me of all the things i have done, the things i haven’t, and the things i still want to do..
Whisky is a powerful luxury that if done right can and should take you to places that bring a smile to your face, a journey if you like.. This whisky certainly has the power to do that, the memories have flooded back and believe me whilst sipping this whisky i am in my happy place and with recent times i really need this..
With thanks to Spey and Glendronach for kindly providing this sample for review purposes.