I was fortunate enough to marry the dirty girl, so this little run at the virgin is a rather interesting experience. I’m not used to such a clean bout of fun anymore. 😉
You gotta give it to GlenDronach. These guys know how to make their whisky interesting. I suppose it helps knowing that your distillate is exceptional to start with. When you have such an inherently clean and malleable base spirit coming off the stills it likely takes a little pressure off your cask policy. In layman’s terms…their new make spirit is good, so barring disaster, their whisky should always be fairly solid regardless of what sort of cask it goes into.
This is not to suggest that GlenDronach’s wood policy is anything less than top notch. Contrarily…the proof is in the pudding with just how many brilliant and unique single cask bottling we see from this Speyside distillery. Quality is one thing though, and generally enough to keep us coming back again and again, but it’s the spirit of innovation in a whisky such as this 14 year old virgin oak (or its contemporary, the 15 year old tawny port finished release) that gives the distillery a leg up on some of its rivals.
In case you can’t tell…I’m a fan.
This particular ‘Dronach served out the first of its sentence in re-charred puncheons, before moving over to fresh American virgin oak. The result is a very light and fruity dram. Rich in soft white bakery notes, vanilla and fruit. Atypical for this generally quite sherried whisky, but a treat because of it.
Nose: Creamy and frothy orange (creamsicle). Big vanilla smoothness. Toasted marshmallow. Little bit of cinnamon. Creamy toffee. White chocolate. Candy-like sweetness.
Palate: Vanilla and orange rind. Grains. Alcohol-soaked white cake. Like licking the last of vanilla ice cream off of a wooden popsicle stick. Quite aperitif-ish, really.
Virgin oak, huh? That purity has never really held a lot of appeal for me. I’ve always had a thing for the dirty girl, but in this case…I’ll take one for the team and make an exception.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt