After recently caning a beautiful 1994 vintage [blog88], I was keen to replace it and enjoy a similar experience. I had to pay a lot more this time around, given all these vintage Glendronach single casks now sit on a similar evaluated price shelf. Question is, are they all worth it?
N: Sweet raisin-fungal<toffee=dates & fruity [peach & orange] sugars kick off proceedings, enduring/coexisting within the over-keen [first-fill?] cask. The high-octane rum-like ethanol power of the spirit [56.2%!], with its herbal waxy>petroleum side creates a wide and interesting dialog between this and the initial sweeter notes. I remind myself that [PX] sherry isn’t particularly sweet, and this cask highlights the more bitter-herbal-grape-tannic side of sherry [casks] rather well. There’s plenty here to occupy us geeks.
T: Opens with a style I dislike - a blatant sherry punch; one that hardly mellows after a month or so. It delivers then [and with as much water as you like], a puckering, volatile oaked-sherried wax-jacket [much like some A’bunadh batches if you will], albeit with a drier, more bitter [PX] sherry profile. Along the way there are some sugary complexities to be had alongside the murky fruity>industrial waxy notes, but the cask and locked-in abv strength doesn’t allow too much through. The distillate is continually undermined though toasted popcorn/crunchy nut cornflakes on the turn show there are some signs of the malty distillate after all.
F: The savoury, waxy dry herbal side continually balances against the sweeter notes. As the dry oaky sugars assemble then slowly dissipate, there’s now a more subtle bitter industrial waxy, mildly bitter [PX styley], dry herbal flow with a hint of sour Montenegro Amaro orange liqueur & Giuseppe Alberti’s Liquore Strega [see last blog] - shadowed by an astringent ginger, baked cinnamon and chill/peppery heat that hovers in the wings. More dry bitter/sour, soft waxy oak at the death and a slight corn~hops reprise.
C: You have here something akin to a cask strength 15yo Revival, but one plagued by a single hyper-active cask. Sure it’s decent whisky [are there any duffers in this range?], but this cask is currently past its/my [secondary market] price-point.Scores a B[-]