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Whisk(e)y Reviews

October 2020

with

Glendronach 18

Notes: 

  • Founded in 1826 near Aberdeenshire in the Highlands of Scotland. 

  • Glendronach is known for fully maturing their Single Malt Whisky in the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks.

  • Lots of complex flavors combining the best of Single Malt Scotch whisky with the flavors imparted by the best of Spanish sherry.  

  • Their Distillery Manager is Alan McConnochie and their Master Blender is Rachel Barrie.

  • A parliament of rooks actually lives at the distillery, and they believe that the rooks living at the distillery bring their whisky good fortune.  

Glendronach has graciously provided us with a sample bottle of the 18 year old Allardice to review; however, due to our strict editorial guidelines, this review will remain unbiased. I had the pleasure of completing this Review a couple of months after my interview with one of Glendronach’s Brand Ambassadors, Rebecca Gardiner. The interview was enlightening, and I came out of it with a high respect for Glendronach and the attention to detail paid to distilling a distinctive Scotch; particularly regarding the care they take in picking superb Sherry casks, and the time they devote to maturing their whisky. 

While there are many whiskies that finish their time resting in Sherry casks, I learned the difference between simply finishing in a Sherry cask, and the full amount of flavors that can be brought out by following Glendronach’s methods of maturing the whisky exclusively in Sherry casks for nearly two decades. I enjoyed sipping this Scotch several times before writing this review. I found new flavors and aromas each time I had a dram.

Nose:         95/100

On the nose I get aromas of plum, sherry, oak, cherry, nutmeg, cloves on the forefront. These aromas are followed by the smells of bread pudding, pear, allspice, and even a wisp of pecan and sesame seed.  

Palate:        96/100

A magnificent burst of flavors, right off the bat, dry tobacco, sherry, tannins, oak and leather. It feels like I should be enjoying this in the library of an aristocrat. Flavors of plums and milk chocolate, with malt and vanilla, follow the initial burst. There are also tastes of allspice, star anise, cherries, honey and black tea. Wound underneath all of the flavors is an underlying smokiness bringing extra layers of depth to the whisky. 

 

Finish:        94/100

A crisp and dry bitterness, beginning with wafts of smoke and tobacco. The Finish is rounded out by oak, leather, cherry and allspice. The Finish stays with you for several minutes. 

 

Overall: 95/100

Recommendation:

Must Try!

 

Glendronach 18 years old, Allardice, Single Malt Scotch Whisky is such a pleasant experience. The Allardice’s depth and breadth of perfectly aligned flavors work together so well that they become more than the sum of its parts. This is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve ever made, go to your local liquor store and adopt a bottle of this fine Highland Single Malt Scotch whisky. This whisky is Thanksgiving and Christmas brought together in liquid form. Glendronach 18, Allardice is begging to be shared by your loved ones. 

 

The price of this bottle is very fair when considering the whisky’s age, quality, flavors and the wonderful Spanish Oak casks that it matured in for 18 years. As I have mentioned before, recall that Glendronach doesn’t only finish their whiskies in Sherry casks. Rather, they fully age each of their whiskies in Spanish sherry casks, from Oloroso to Pedro Ximenez. Rachel Barrie makes the voyage to Spain to select and procure the right casks to pair with their whisky. This ensures that the flavors of the Sherry perfectly complement the whisky that will age inside them.

 

Glendronach is one distillery that I will keep multiple bottles from, around my home to be enjoyed not just by myself, but with my family and friends. Cheers, and stay safe during this ongoing pandemic!

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