The ‘KWM’ in the title refers to the Kensington Wine Market, a local specialist retailer here in Calgary with a fine boutique selection of malts which often fall outside the mainstream. For obvious reasons, we like this. For those ATW readers and adherents outside of my locale (and there are starting to be quite a few. Cheers!) you may have a little more difficulty procuring a bottle of this, but do make the effort. I don’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.
This particular ’95 GlenDronach cask (682 bottles) was recently purchased and bottled exclusively by KWM. Years spent in ex-Pedro Ximenez wood have imparted such strength of character that it is easy to see why the team at KWM opted for this cask. Dark and rich, enchanting and enticing. The enormity of 52.2% abv is the perfect vehicle to carry the intensity of these bold flavors. I’ll concede I am a sucker for a rich sweet cask strength sherry…especially when it has a few years behind it. Even moreso as the temperatures drop in the cold winter months. Having said all of that, this one still kinda knocked my socks off. In an odd sort of paradox this whisky is old beyond its years, but still young and spirited.
GlenDronach (anything beyond the 12 year mark) is starting to be one of my favorite sherried malts. The revamped lineup more than holds its own against its contemporaries, and to be completely honest…its only real competition from the sherried Speys is Glenfarclas, in my opinion.
So what have we here?
Nose: gorgeous cask influence (sherry and fresh oak); zesty fruit and pinches of spice; a mild maltiness and slightly meaty character; eclair and a touch of charred wood smoke. Stunning nose.
Palate: chocolate and sherry arrive holding hands; waves of spices and bitter apricot; oak and malt; explosive delivery and a wicked fade that reverberates in waves.
I can’t even imagine how phenomenal this would have been at 17 or 18, but even at 15…right up there.
A note of kudos to any involved in cask selection…well done.
Right now I only have the sample. I WILL be buying this.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt