Another far-more-than-decent dram from GlenDronach. Once you get past the rather lackluster 12 y.o. gateway expression in the line-up the sky is the limit with this distillery. It’s easy to overlook the odd soft ball from this distillery when the vast majority of their output is rather spectacular.
If opportunity (and income bracket) allows…do meander off the beaten path with this distillery. Their single casks are often spectacular and much of their old stock is utterly magic. But let’s stick with the standard range here, shall we? As I mentioned above, the 12 year old is merely ok. The 15 however, is a true diamond. One of the best young whiskies out there. The 18 then must be even better!
Errrr…not really. Wait…what? Gotta be honest. This 18 is a sweet-spot dram for me (i.e. it is right in the wheelhouse of perfect ageing), but just can’t pip the 15 for vibrancy.
Allardice has a nose of heavy sherry, beautifully softened by age, rich in cherry and cocoa. Spicy notes of cinnamon and gingerbread meet thick ropes of vanilla and a slight yeastiness. Very pleasant. Backstopping all of this is a profile typical of sherried malts; pungent fruitcake, mild cigar leaf and deep plumminess. A warm, comforting nose to be sure.
Touchdown on the palate is led by a slight bitterness, similar to tannic wine. It develops into heavy raisin bread and mouthfuls of rummy fruitcake (a cop out tasting note, I concede, but an accurate reflection nevertheless). Ginger too. And cherry. Quite drying. Lovely…but (and not something you’ll hear from me often) maybe the barest hint of sulfur???
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt