Glendronach Cask Bottlings are starting to reach an interesting divide thanks to the six year period around the turn of the century when the distillery was mothballed. The result is two very different styles of bottlings being released these days. The first is younger casks from after distillery operations resumed in 2002 and the other is much older releases from before the shutdown in 1996. This means that releases bottled in early ’20s are either younger than 20 years old or older than 26 years old. You don’t need to be a whisky expert to know that a whisky aged in the teens is going to have a very different profile than a whisky aged for almost 30 years.
2020 brought about a slew of Cask Bottling vintages from 1992-1994 and a few international retailers charged relatively reasonable pricing considering the age of the whisky. This review is from cask 5963 which aged 1993 vintage Glendronach for 26 years. I won’t call this a single barrel because it’s probable that whisky from multiple barrels was reracked into the final cask: a Pedro Ximenez puncheon. The whisky was distilled on May 11th, 1993 and bottled in 2020 at an even 55% ABV.
This is the sister release to Cask Bottling 5962 for Nickolls and Perks which received some pretty mixed reviews (read my review of 5962 here). Cask 5963 was selected and bottled for The Whisky World.
|Nose||Cocoa powder, prunes, tons of sweetness, hot fudge, maple syrup, raspberry compote, mission fig, wood varnish, nutmeg. More musty with water along with just a touch of ripe berries.|
|Taste||Intense berry sweetness, more figs, cherry syrup, oily, Demerara, almonds paste, deep oak, raisins, pepper, dark dried fruits, mocha. Water brings out more nuttiness and makes this whisky even oilier.|
|Finish||Medium-long length, lots of baking spice first followed by tannic oak, caramel, and chili-infused chocolate. With water, the oak is softer but the spice and chocolate remain.|
|Overall Thoughts||A good representation of a modern well-aged GlenDronach. Over 26 years of aging really shows here with a deep, dark flavor set. The bottle count suggests reracking at some point and the finish is not as complex as I’d expect for a whisky of this age but it was a good value for the price relative to other recent Glendronach Cask Bottlings. It’s an enjoyable pour and certainly better than some of the other Glendronachs I’ve had that were bottled in the past year or two.|