We’ve reached the final destination on our GlenDronach whisky tour with the arrival of the Parliament 21 year old. To recap things kicked off with the Original 12 year old before moving onto the 18 year old Allardice expression. Actually, I think I do have a sample of the GlenDronach Peated in the WR waiting room so there’s life in this series yet!
After the core range it’s a case of moving onto some single cask releases and maybe the bottle-your-own from the distillery itself. Then we’ll be done with GlenDronach and you’ll have understood the message that this is the enthusiasts sherry whisky of choice for a reason. Yes, step aside Macallan.
I had discussed my thoughts on the recent sale of GlenDronach for a stunning price along with BenRiach and Glenglassaugh distilleries during the Allardice review. Each have their own unique style and perspective on whisky, but the crown jewel is undoubtedly GlenDronach. Whatever your thoughts on this change in ownership – one that hopefully won’t prompt a change in direction – its clear we’re going to be seeing a lot more of GlenDronach in the coming years.
GlenDronach is all about sherry casks and for this Parliament expression that debuted in 2011, a combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez were utilised. The name itself has nothing to do with the shambles that currently is the collective at Westminster in London. Instead its another gathering nearby the distillery itself; a group of rooks that populate the trees near GlenDronach. Parliament being the name for a group of rooks; a modest inspiration compared to some marketing theatricals we’ve seen from other distilleries in recent times.
This whisky is bottled at 48% strength, is non chill filtered and will set you back around £95 depending on where you shop. For such an age statement and a strong emphasis on sherry cask maturation it’s a very decent price on paper; but what about the contents?
Colour: that utter decay of cinder toffee
Nose: ah yes, put a record on please we’ve arrived at sherry heaven. A rich malty loaf punctuated with cherries, cranberries, currants and dark chocolate. I could literally nose this for hours or at least the first side of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood LP. After a restful period in the glass you being to notice the texture and sweetness; maple syrup, toffee then charcoal before the spices arrive. Cloves, all spice and cinnamon the trinity of sherry cask spicing. A little rubber it must be said, but I’m always fine with this feature.
Taste: less pronounced on the palate compared to the nose. More toffee, cloves and dark chocolate. The lasting finish legacy is worn leather or rubber if you prefer. A little ginger and bitterness from the wood. I find myself pouring another which can only be a good sign. Luxurious cherries, nutmeg and prunes follow.
Overall: this could be too sherried for some as a friend highlighted after being disappointed by the domination evident. I’m just enjoying the ride here because other whiskies such as the Glenfiddich 18 year old toy with the sherry influence, but here its been embraced fully. As you can see from the above photograph taken at the distillery the price is pretty decent for the experience provided. Another GlenDronach winner.