With its combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, The Hielan' offers a nice twist to the GlenDronach theme. Thumbs up for the age statement! On the nose, fresh fruits, butterscotch and beeswax are interwoven with vanilla, cinnamon and hints of thyme. Punchy, crisp and spirit-driven, the palate takes over with citrus-honey, pepper and a touch of arugula. A gentle hug from the casks appears towards the finish, leaving behind a nutty/grassy aftertaste. Although I do prefer the sherry monsters, this young malt qualifies for a perfect everyday dram.
RATING: 3.7/5.0 stars ≙ 85 pts → ABOVE AVERAGE [+]
Tastes and feels young, and isn't in my opinion totally ready, but I prefer this to Glenfarclas of similar age, since this one is fattier, rounder and less grassy to me.
Thanks to member Waykid for the sample!
Some yeast in water and a fattiness that helps round it. Some smoke of a dry, kiln-like style, and a medium sherry touch, much lighter than I thought it would have, but then again when I think back on the CS releases versus the single casks my expectations were wrong. There is some sawdust and a dry, spicy note. Yeast, sawdust, spices... sure this isn't Wolfburn?
The softness of the body surprises me. Sure, it's 46 %, but a young whisky from 2010s that's neither sharply boozy nor watery, or overly yeasty? I'm impressed. Marabou chocolate, something coppery, some highland peat, and sugar. It could stand to have a more definite profile, but then on the other hand it doesn't have any overdone finish either, which is a plus.
While not a real stunner of a whisky and not typically GlenDronach, it for sure is a really enjoyable one! It shows some youth on the palate and lacks complexity but what do you expect from an 8 year old? Furthermore I couldn't detect any off-notes. I have to add that this could have been any other non-peated Speysider/Highlander as I could not blindly tell you this was a GlenDronach. Last but not least. The big 'AGED 8 YEARS' statement, that's something not many distilleries would do. Anything under 10 years receives a dodgy name in 99 out of 100 cases. Just a little detail but I think it shows some balls. All in all, well done GlenDronach. I just happen to like your extremely sherried stuff a little more!
To start, this is vastly different compared to 100% sherry matured Glendro. Sherry is still noticeable but it is mostly fresh fruit that dominates the nose. Apple, lemon, kiwi, pineapple, plum, malt, vanilla, aniseed, custard, rice pudding, ginger, caramel, dark chocolate, praline, leather, almond, marzipan, dry hay, lamb chops and a little solvent note, probably just the alcohol showing a little youth. Not exactly what I'm looking for in a GlenDronach, but on its own a quite refreshing nose.
It follows the nose, being a little sour on the arrival. Malt, apple juice, grapefruit, orange zest, raisins, green grapes, creme brulee, Oloroso sherry, chocolate sauce, salted caramel, roasted almond, olive bread, vanilla, honey, sultana, lavender and butterscotch. Very fruity again, lightly sherried and with enough space left over to show its distillate character. Drinks really easy.
Not too bad, actually, especially of you try it blind and your preconceptions of what a Dronach should be like are taken away. The 46% abv. suit it well. Good for what it is, but of course nowhere near a sherry bomb.
with water: now the fruity side is better, citrus / orange, apricot, mandarins
Conclusion: great entry into the core range, from which many distilleries can cut a slice. Successful and convincing.
Apricot, fresh fruit and a few dried fruits, some vanilla and a few oak notes and herbs, honey, orange peel, slightly buttery, the youth is recognizable by a point, but not very pronounced, after the first sip the sherry character is more noticeable in the nose without becoming dominant
good start, astonishingly oily, spices, honey, chestnuts, in addition to the light fruit also some sherry notes, these more clearly than in the nose
rather short to medium length, here are some almonds and a good dash of oak, which gets slightly bitter at the back