Sunday, 5 January 2014

HMS Glendronach Turns Left

Glendronach 15 year old Tawny Port Finish - 46%

More cherry than sherry

Speyside has long been the seat of sherried whisky royalty and possibly, just possibly, there's a new King on the throne.

Sample provided by Matt Smith

This particular whisky however, is less about the sherry wood and more about the finishing cask. In 2010, Glendronach released a range of finished whiskies at 14-15 years old. Being Glendronach, the whiskies were presented at 46%, non-chillfiltered and at natural colour. This review will focus on the 15 year old Tawny Port finish, and boy, what a colour.

Red fruits. Strawberries and damsons with a jolt of sweet balsamic grape must. Oranges and candied lemons.

Water unleashes a tidal wave of vanilla cream with the strawberry notes asserting dominance and fig rolls making a cameo.

Sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. This is a real sweetie. Custard creams, vanilla wafers and milk chocolate. With a little time, it becomes a riot of fizzy summer fruits and gentle spice.

Water amps up the spiciness and brings some pleasant woodiness to the fore. Cinnamon and a touch of Cayenne with toffee and some wisps of rum/raisin. The fizz is still there but it's a little muddled.

Slightly drying and medium-short. Competent and pleasant with waves of woodiness.

As with the nose, water brings out some spiciness. Wood tannins are still present but restrained and the finish draws out nicely.

Glendronach bottlings have been consistently good over the last few years with some absolutely stunning single cask releases. This is a bit of a departure but a worthy attempt at a finished whisky. It's perhaps a little unbalanced but there's enough going on to keep things interesting.

Grade: B
A fizzy, summery dram that evokes memories of Wimbledon and picnics in Hyde Park. It's good but not rocking my world. At under £50 though, it's a contender.

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