Glendronach Parliament 21 Year Old
Glendronach 21 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the fourth whisky in Glendronach’s lineup that I’ve had the pleasure to taste and subsequently review. I decided that as the oldest Scotch in the samples that I received, that it would be fitting to build up to it. If this is your first time reading about Glendronach, then I’ll provide a brief summary of what makes them a unique distillery. As you’ll see in the note above, Glendronach is the connoisseur of Sherry matured whiskies.
Glendronach has been maturing their whisky in Sherry from the very beginning of the distillery’s history, when James Allardice founded the company in the 19th Century. You’ll notice that I used the word mature, rather than finish. Some companies will age their whiskies in ex-bourbon barrels for a number of years and then finish the whisky in a Sherry cask for a couple of months. Glendronach puts their whisky in Sherry casks from the beginning, and then fully ages them in those barrels. So when you see an age statement on a bottle of Glendronach, you know that you are drinking a Scotch that has matured in Oloroso or Pedro Ximenez casks for the same number of years. As an aside, this whisky was provided by Glendronach to review, however, it will not affect the integrity of my review. Without stalling any longer, let’s get to the main attraction, how Glendronach 21 Parliament tastes.
Glendronach was founded by James Allardice in 1826, the distillery is located in the valley of Forgue, in the eastern Highlands.
Glendronach is the connoisseur of Sherried whiskies. All of their offerings are fully aged in Sherry casks, rather than just finished in Sherry casks as other companies do.
Their Sherry casks come from Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso casks in the Andalucia region of Spain.
A parliament of rooks resides on the grounds of the distillery.
Class: Single Malt Scottish Whisky, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Average Price: $251.99
Proof: 48% abv (96 proof)
Glendronach’s 21yo offering is bottled at a respectable 48% abv.
This bottle is harder to find, and more expensive, than some of the younger options in Glendronach’s portfolio.
Key Takeaways: This Scotch has a lot of deep flavors, and the higher proof complements the flavors without overwhelming your palate with too much of a bite.
The aroma blooms with notes of plums, sherry, and cherries at first. Under that, wafts of smoked peach wood come to the front. Following the peach wood, the scent of brandy arrives. Finally, notes of nutmeg round out the aromas.
Immediately, I taste oak. Close behind the oak are tannins. Red wine, tobacco, and smoke are next on my palate. The tastes of nutmeg and molasses are also present. I’m reminded of barbecue, from the combination of smoke and molasses. In addition to nutmeg, the other spices that I taste are allspice and cloves. Much like the aroma of the whisky, I’m getting the flavor of brandy throughout the dram as well.
I appreciate the finish of Glendronach 21 year old Parliament, as it complements the flavors and aroma so well. To me, it has a nice dry finish. The dryness is brought out in flavors of sherry, oak, tannins, and tobacco. I also get a whiff of smoke on the finish. Following the smoke, the taste of pepper lingers at the back of my tongue.
Overall: 90.6 /100
Glendronach Parliament 21 year old Scotch has very everything you expect from a top-shelf whisky. If you have the means to stretch your budget for a whisky that’s been matured in a mixture of Pedro Ximenex and Oloroso sherry casks for over 20 years, then go ahead and pick up a bottle the next time you see it. After all, life’s short, and in these uncertain times with the Pandemic still ongoing, we should celebrate the little things. Glendronach Parliament 21 is a celebratory bottle. If on the other hand, your local shop doesn’t carry a bottle, then the next time you are at a restaurant or bar with a nice whisky list, order yourself a pour and savor it.