Very dark in colour, rich deep brown, earthy copper.
Wonderfully sherried nose greets you, sweet but ever so slightly restrained compared to what the colour might lead you to think, however leave it in your glass and bucket loads of sunny sweet rum and raisins greet you and work together with slightly savoury notes. Some slight smokey whiffs right in the background, or is that just from the cask? Chocolate notes and background malt.
Mouthfeel is pretty full, nicely oily, and amazingly smooth for the abv. I sometimes find GlenDronach has a slight sower or savoury note to it, but the age and sherry maturation seem to have worked well here to temper most of that, and although it’s definitely a sherry monster it’s not too sweet; sweet of course, but not too much so – it’s well balanced and moreish. Christmas cake type notes, but concentrating more on the dried but plump fruits.
After a small while you get just a nice tingle of gentle spices before leading into a wonderfully long finish, which again has smokey back notes right at the end which round things off nicely.
A drop of water helps smooth the abv further, and also draws a few more wood notes out, especially on the palate, it also seems to lessen the sweetness slightly bringing the savoury notes forward more.
Top class dram and if you’re a sherried whisky fan then I don’t think you’ll go at all wrong with this dram. 631 bottles.
Funnily enough I was thinking smokey coal flavours as a background note when drinking… and on checking out the history of GlenDronach I find that indeed the stills were coal fired at the time of distillation (not any more though). Just a lucky guess I suspect!
Sample provided by a friend who just happens to work for TWE. £69.95.