Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask 1751 Exclusively for The Duchess 53.9% 2003
|Gebotteld voor||Bottled Exclusively for The Duchess|
|Cask Type||Virgin Oak Hogshead|
|Conditie||In Original Container|
Nose: Lots of fruitiness in the likes of plums. This accompanied by a warm swell of butterscotch and spices; Cinnamon and hazelnuts.
Mouth: Butterscotch is eminent on the foreground. Lots of pleasurable spices like the earlier mentioned cinnamon, ginger and a little sugarcane sweetness in the background.
Finish: long and dry herbal finish; Laurel and licorice.
Balance: A very stunning dram it is. Very well balanced in both and nose and mouthfeel. The thing that attracts me the most is the overwhelming complicity of this GlenDronach…Don’t we all love ginger spices and licorice ???
Serge Valentin (85)
I wager. Colour: gold. Nose: it is sweeter oak this time, with the anticipated (well, expected) vanilla and rather a lot of herbal teas, from the usual chamomile to verbena. Plus maple syrup, roasted raisins, and just all-flower honey. Warning, water may totally change it, in my experience. With water: it rather does, with more banana skin and other fruit peelings. In short, it gets drier. Mouth (neat): really good, easy, with some vanilla and lemon balm, candied grapefruit, and perhaps dried apricots. With water: more sawdust – nothing abnormal - and banana/lemon. Typical, and rather good. Finish: medium, with a little more sour wood. Not sure you should water this one down. Comments: not bad at all for virgin oak. Not quite some lumberjack whisky!
Gal Granov (87)
Nose: Big wood notes with coconut, vanilla and stewed peaches and pears, golden syrup very perfumed and very attractive indeed. Cinnamon and more subtle wood spice.
Palate: Again – big and spicy with star anise, cinnamon heat, chilly, ginger and rich vanilla extract oily and mouth coating. Chewy wood, maple syrup, wood tannins, dry and lively.
Finish :Spicy with chilly, vanilla and coconut.
This is not the most complex single cask GD I’ve had, but this is one yummy whisky. The nose is lovely, and the mouth feel is great, big bold and full of flavour, you will want to pour yourself another dram immediately, as did I. Highly enjoyable, and recommended. It’s quite a different creature than what you’d expect from a 13 year old GD, but worth your while, IMHO. Get one.
This GlenDronach is their second bottling, after a 1991 Ardbeg (!). What Nils (the guy who runs it) also hosted was a fairly epic Springbank tasting with Frank McHardy talking the guests through a bunch of drams. Talking about something legendary! I still regret not being able to attend.
Anyway, Nils was kind enough to give me a sample of his new bottling. I have been a dick about not reviewing it about four months ago. Luckily for you, ‘dear reader’, it’s still available.
This puppy was drawn from a Virgin Oak hogshead, and bottled at cask strength, last May.
The nose is smooth and gentle with (obviously) quite some oak. I get scents of chili peppers and pears. Some ethanol. The curls after shaving a beam of white oak. Some bayleaf and licorice.
The palate is surprisingly sharp and bone dry. Mind, this is not a complaint since I like dry whiskies, and a bit of oomph never hurt anyone either. It’s really demanding and draws your attention when you take a sip. Lots of fresh oak with GlenDronachs heavy spirit backing it up. Something crisp too, some mint maybe. Oak, wood spices, pear, chili and alcohol.
The finish is dry, but not as dry as the palate. Lots of oak and heat from the alcohol. White and red pepper to add to the heat. Quite long and warm.
So, what about this one then? It’s a bit of a two-sided affair. On one hand it’s strong, punchy and dry. I quite like that. I also like the flavors which are not overly similar to the other GlenDronach Virgin Oaks out there. It’s quite different from how I remember our club bottling, for example.
On the other hand, a lot of Virgin Oak GlenDronachs have been released over the last five years or so. That means you lose some originality points there. Having said that, compared to the generally available single casks it’s priced competitively, and it’s something else from the more available sherry casks. Recommended!