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Glendronach Original 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 40%
Like most Scottish Distilleries, Glendronach has had a chequered history and has been opened and closed more times than the kitchen door. Founded by James Allardice in 1826, the Duke of Gordon liked the whisky so much that he took Allardice with him to London, to present him to London's gentry. But the success went to Allardice’s head. He neglected his distillery until 1837, when it was destroyed by a fire. The licence and the ruins of the distillery were sold to Walter Scott, who worked at the Teaninich distillery. The distillery closed in 1916 and was bought in 1920 by Charles Grant, one of the sons of William Grant. Glendronach remained in the Grant family until 1960 when it was sold to William Teacher & Sons by George Grant. Teacher's has since been acquired by Allied Breweries, currently under control of Allied Distillers Ltd. The Glendronach distillery was mothballed since 1995, but production resumed in 2004. The malt is used in the Ballantine and Teachers blends.
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.
'...their most enjoyable standard distillery bottling
I've had for many years'. - Jim Murray, 2008.
Tasting note: Pale gold colour. Subdued aromatics reveal apple and delicately smokey cereals. Some cocoa and nuttiness too. Entry offers an off-dry, tangy malt experience with moderate concentration and a juicy burst. Clean and gently spicy. Finishes a little short. Straightforward, clean and refreshing. 40% Alc/.Vol.
Other reviews... Over the past decade there has been no shortage of Glendronach expressions. I know of at least one 15 year old, an 18 year old, a 19 year old, a 1968 vintage, and four different 12 year old versions. My favorite of the range was the limited edition 19 year old released here in the U.S. about a decade ago. The 1968 Vintage, which you can still find on retailers’ shelves, is also a worthy dram. But this new 12 year old “Original” expression is certainly my favorite of the 12s (and the 15). I feel that Glendronach expresses itself best when it is not dominated by the sherry, allowing a greater balance of flavors. This whisky was originally matured in sherry casks, but was then (fortunately) aged in bourbon casks for the remainder of its maturation. The result? A richly flavored, nicely balanced whisky expressing notes of sherried fruit, burnt caramel, light toffee, and nuts, all underpinned by a soothing malty foundation. Yum! Rating: 87 points.
- The Malt Advocate
...Nose: Dense, ripe, plummy fruit: serious touches of fruitcake, complete with brown sugars. Oak does give a vanilla topping but also punches through. Some coal smoke buzzes around too. Needs some time to get to the full story. Taste: some serious infighting here, some of it off-key, between grape and grain. The grape wins but is not entirely unbloodied as the mouthwatering barley has some juicy moments. Finish: the lull after the storm; much more measured doses of bitter marmalade and vanilla, softening towards gentle spice within the cocoa...Very different...In fact, their most enjoyable standard distillery bottling I've had for many years.
88 points. - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2008
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