After a regular maturation on European oak, this GlenDronach got a finish on Madeire hogsheads. If you know that GlenDronach went silent in 1995 and only re-opened in 2004, then you realize that this is in fact old stocks and thus from the era prior to Billy Walker’s stewardship. That Walker era has also recently come to an end as GlenDronach, together with BenRiach and Glenglassaugh, were sold to the American drinks giant Brown-Forman in April 2016. But I digress…
Wonderfully sweet nose on all kinds of fruit, both European and tropical. Think apples, lemon, oranges, gooseberry, raisin, apricots… I could go on. The whole is surprisingly fresh, but also a tad creamy. Touch of caramel, vanilla, toffee. After a few moment, the spices emerge: pepper, hint of curry and woodspice. There is even some yeast in this nose. Sweet, surely, but it works like a charm.
It is nicely round and fruity, but less sweet than I expected. Nicely oily, though. The oak speak much louder than on the nose. All the fruit from the nose reappears (citrus in the lead), supported by nutmeg, pepper, ginger and something bitter like the pith of a grape. Chocolate? Nice drinking strength, by the way.
The finish is wonderfully long in which the oak leaves enough room for the fruit to keep it sweet until its death. But once it is gone, your mouth is left dry.
Summer in your glass. It will set you back around 170 EUR.