GlenDronach has long been a favorite of mine. All that sherry goodness of Macallan at a fraction of the price. In 2015, just before they announced the sale of the distillery to Brown Forman, GlenDronach decided to temporarily discontinue the 15yr old ‘Revival’ bottling due to a lack of mature stock. This was ironic because at the time, because the bottling had a good dose of 19yr old whisky in it, added due to the lack of 15yr stock. It sounds crazy, and it is, but because you cannot add any whisky stock that is younger than the age stated on the bottle, distilleries will sometimes add older stock to meet production volume without sacrificing flavor profile. While this is not the case with their most recent release, when GlenDronach announced the return of the "Revival" at the beginning of this year, I couldn't resist featuring it in this quarter's club selection. The differences between this release and the last one are subtle but distinctive. Aside from the slight age difference between the two, this newer bottling also sees the addition of Pedro Ximenez casks which adds a nice sweetness to the final taste. One thing is for sure, it is still a killer dram for the price. I hope you enjoy, Sláinte!
Whisk(e)y Evangelist, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits
GlenDronach distillery was founded in 1826 by James Allardice. Allardice continued to run the distillery until his death in the 1880s, when it was later bought in 1920 by Charles Grant – the son of GlenFiddich founder William Grant – for a mere £9,000. Later in the 1960s it was acquired by William Teacher & Sons in an effort to secure quality malt for the ‘Teachers Blend’ and in 1968 the first GlenDronach single malt was released. Growth continued slow but steady for the next forty years until BenRiach Distilling Co. Ltd. became the proud new owner in 2008. From then on the word was out, and malt maniacs around the world who demanded the powerful sherry expressions offered by Macallan or GlenRothes began to catch on. From 2008 to 2016 the brand saw growth that culminated with an acquisition of BenRiach Distilling Co. Ltd. (along with its siblings GlenGlassaugh and GlenDronach) by Brown Forman Company for around $400 million.
The nose is loaded with boozy spice cake, honey, plums and maple syrup, followed by orange marmalade, cloves, roasted nuts and brown butter cookies. The palate confirms all these initial aromas of spices and fruits with honeyed notes, golden raisins and leather, complimented by nutmeg, licorice, and more fruitcake flavors. The finish brings back in the sweet burnt brown sugar, which then dries out into a nutty and spicy finish of hazelnuts, ginger, clove and allspice. This malt is a dessert on its own in a glass, but does compliment chocolate and cheese quite nicely after dinner. Don’t be afraid to throw it next to a cigar either.
Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Distilled and Bottled by GlenDronach Distillery
Suggested Pairing: steak, after dinner, pecan pie, chocolate, aged cheese, robusto cigar
Bottled @ 46% ABV, Non-Chill Filtered, No color added