Generally speaking, any little whisky write-up I do will have some sort of pithy angle to it. That’s just me trying to keep it interesting for myself, and hoping to entertain a litte while we get our ‘geek’ on. But, like it or not, sometimes the best approach is a straight forward one. (Having now conceded this, does that now make it an angle in and of itself? Hmmmm. Let’s just move on…)
A good mate of mine contends that GlenDronach are the big dogs when it comes to sherry casks nowadays. Forget Macallan…forget Glenfarclas…forget Aberlour. It’s tough to admit he’s ever right, but at the same time it’s becoming increasingly hard to argue the point when the distillery puts out drams like this. Simple fact of the matter is that all of the best mature sherry bombs I’ve tried in recent times have all borne the ‘Dronach moniker. Spending a couple hours in the distillery’s warehouses is now one of those bucket list things for me. Would make a hell of a write-up too, if I ever get ’round to it.
GlenDronach Grandeur is a 31 year old distillery bottling. Or was, I should say. This Batch 3 from a wee while back is apparently the last of this grandfatherly old malt to bear this unique age statement. After a period of fallow, Grandeur is now to be resurrected as a 24 year old. A sign of the times, unfortunately. Especially as I can’t imagine we’ll see a compensatory price drop when this happens. Time will tell, I suppose. We’ll hold to optimism, however, that the end product continues to be held to the same standard of near flawless Oloroso butt vatting, ’cause let’s face it…this is exceptional.
Nose: Dried tropical fruits and rich jammy notes. Oiled leather. Figs. Espresso. Sandalwood. Furniture polish. Sticky toffee pudding. Bitter, high cacao chocolate. A vaguely waxy, latex note. All with a berry coulis sweet thread throughout.
Palate: Very mature fruity notes on arrival. Some coffee again and chocolate fudge. Glosette raisins. Almond paste. Maybe even raw almonds as well. Or toasted almonds. Walnut. Oily savoury notes too.
Thoughts: Great cask selection. A couple of well chosen barrels…and absolutely no ‘blending away’ of crap. This is what mature sherry should taste like. I find I actually crave this flavour profile some evenings.
*Big thanks to my mate, J Wheelock, for the opportunity to try. Ahem. More than once.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt