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Glendronach Allardice 18 Year Old 100% Sherry Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46%
When Glendronach first opened its doors in 1826 many Scottish single malts were matured in Spanish sherry casks. However over the years the ever-increasing rarity and price (they are over 10 times as expensive as ‘standard’ barrels!) has seen a major switch to American Bourbon barrels by the whisky industry. Indeed today there are perhaps only two distilleries that can truly be classified as ‘sherry maturation’ houses and only one where 100% of the single malt sold still enjoys its primary maturation exclusively in sherry casks. Glendronach is proud to be that distillery.
Tasting note: We first tasted Allardice in 2009. It was not like this. Old-school malt whisky devotees will no doubt find its latest incarnation even more compelling than the 15 year old - it diverges into fully fledged adulthood showing more self restraint and more complexity. The colour beautifully catches the light with its viscous and pure mahogany/copper appearance. Once past the slightly rubbery opening phase, this reeks of Oloroso infused malt with fruit’n’nut chocolate and cinnamon followed by suggestions of marzipan, orange cake and ultra-aged muscat. A superb sniff. On the drier side, but with classic sherry hallmarks; raisin cake, cinnamon and ginger biscuit feature in the initial stages; the oak enters at mid palate offering a mildly tannic bridge which would have otherwise left a hollow if not for the late muscat and cherry chocolate surge. There’s hints of sulphur, yet so fleeting and mild to be considered a complexing factor. And the reverberating fade is quite remarkable - soon after it’s gone it’s back. Comparable to Hors d’Age Armagnac in delivery - the notch up in succulence is Grandeur ($899), but at a fraction of the price the 18 Year Old is a steal. Love this all the more because it rewards focus and long attention. It will be polarising for some, but isn’t that what whisky appreciation is all about? 46% Alc./Vol.First tasted September 2009 Deep, brassy gold colour. Shy aromas. First nosings offer fruit and nut, chocolate fudge and some orange notes. These eventually subside revealing a subtle rubberiness - just light enough to be tolerable. The palate offers good concentration, though it is slightly bitter and somewhat flat with subdued malt and spice notes before the rubberiness breaks through again. Subtle and relatively abrupt aftertaste. 86 points