Review: GlenDronach 18 year old Tawny Port Finish

Ah, we’re back on the GlenDronach trial and this is a mystery sample kindly provided by my regular source of such things over at Malt-Review. If you haven’t read Mark’s site yet then I suggest you do given the chance. I don’t foster samples from the industry, yet Mark takes these supposed pearls and delivers honesty and clarity. Sadly its that truth dynamic that is so missing on many blogs/websites nowadays; you’d think we’re living in a golden age of whisky from the plaudits and scores being dished out like candy. Frankly that’s not the case in reality. 

We’ve been exchaning mysterious samples for a decent while now and there is a sizeable backlogue present. I reckon Mark threw in this sample as he knows my misgivings about some GlenDronach releases in recent times – the dubious finishes and non-sherry bottlings to be more specific.

Here we have an 18 year old whisky for under £70 so that’s a good start in any book. You wouldn’t get a sniff of the official Mortlach 18 year old for such a price. This whisky has spent most of its life in European oak casks before being finished in a Tawny Port cask for a much shorter period. This is often referred to as acing casks to deliver a new dynamic or flavour. It can be employed to create a twist to the current range or more likely beef up whisky that has come from tired casks. 

Distillery: GlenDronach
Age: 18 years old
Strength: 46%
Price: around £65
Casks: European oak before a Tawny Port finish
Additional: non chill filtered, natural colour

Colour: butterscotch

Nose: a real sweetie with syrup, sponge, caramel and milk chocolate. Defo cherries in there, cinnamon and ginger bread with vanilla custard 

Taste: malted brown bread, strong red salad leaves initially soon passing and a thickness on the palate that reminds me of a wine cask. Surprisingly more savoury on the palate than sweet with crispy bacon, black pepper yet roses are in here. It is lacking a reasonable finish. 

Overall a pleasant enough dram and miles better than the Haig Club if you’ve been unfortunate to be lured into purchasing Diageo’s aftershave.


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