It seems to me that there are more and more independent bottlings each month, and in my world that’s no bad thing. It means more whisky, more variety, and more for collectors. That brings me to The Whisky Exchange, who have bought a whole cask – number #4682 to be precise – from Glendronach to release as an exclusive bottling.
This whisky was distilled on November 8th 1995, bottled in March 2013. It was a Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon that came at cask strength of 56.6%. The Glendronach 1995 17 Year Old PX Puncheon is an exclusive purchase through The Whisky Exchange, or indeed their London shop.
Colour: mahogany; one of the darkest drams I’ve ever seen. So dark you could put it in your lounge and call it a sideboard, and no one would be any the wiser. On the nose: proper rum, molasses. Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate. That’s seriously heady stuff. A sort of spicy Caribbean fruitiness hanging around there too.
In the mouth: that has to be one of the sweetest whiskies I’ve tasted. Talk about a sherry explosion! Let’s take a step back… A zippy little texture. Raisins. Sultanas. Mince pie and custard. Warm strawberry jam. Stewed fruits. A bold red wine, even. All with a spicy, woody, bitter dark chocolate finish. There’s a faint creamy mustiness, and I mean that in a good way, which reminds me a little of Ichiro’s whiskies, particularly the couple of card series ones I’ve tried. I’ve never been able to put my finger on that flavour precisely, but there it is, and it’s welcome indeed.
This most certainly is dessert whisky of the most sublime kind, plus it has the sweet sharpness that would chase away a rainy day. Extremely pleasing. Personally, I like there to be a slightly fuller, more velvety feeling in the mouth, like the Bruichladdich First Growth whiskies, but that aside this is seriously impressive stuff at £70 a bottle.
There are only 631 bottles being released, so if you’re a Glendronach nut, you should probably hurry along to The Whisky Exchange (who, in the interest of disclosure, very kindly provided a sample for this review).