Another surprise appearance from the stables of GlenDronach occurred this month (at the same time as the eagerly awaited ‘Revived Revival’), and brought to us not just a new age and a new colour, but also a new name “Forgue”
The GlenDronach Forgue is a marriage of both Pedro Ximénez & Oloroso sherry cask-matured whisky that’s bottled at 43% ABV…so it sounds like the bouncing baby Brother or Sister to the 12yr “Original”
I first tried this whisky back in July at the distillery when I was sat with Rachel Barrie. And given the Forgue had not yet been announced, I had to keep my lips sealed about the release.
Appearance: Medium-light gold. Quick thin legs.
Nose: Bold malt & barley. With a little bit of time in the glass this softens and a sweeter nuttiness comes to the surface. There’s very little sign of the rich and sweet PX and more emphasis on the nuttiness from the Oloroso casks. Milk chocolate appears with softer maltiness.
Palate: Initially, there’s a slight bitter-bite that’s cloaked in mild sweetness. There doesn’t (for me), appear to be a big sherry theme going on here. A dry oakiness with a little sun-scorched hay now appears, followed by some white pepper tingle and a subtle fruitiness (red apples)
One thing that I really picked up on during this review and when I was trying it at the distillery, was the aroma coming from the washbacks: a beer-like yeastiness that floods the air and lungs when you wander near them at the distillery. It’s possibly the first whisky (for me), where I’ve picked this up.
Finish: Medium-long. There’s a slight bitter linger with a subtle oily sweetness, and heaps more malt & barley.
Conclusion: The immediate and obvious impression is that the Forgue is not at the same level of ‘sherryness’ as its core range siblings.
The closest core-bottle, the 12yr, certainly seems to leave the Forgue standing when it comes to sherry, so if you’re looking for that signature GlenDronach sherry-hit then this is not it. However, it’s a fantastic session dram for when you want a lighter sherry influence and lots of chewy malt.
Would I buy this? At circa. £70, I probably wouldn’t. I’d likely be reaching for the 12yr or the 18yr. But then when you’re at an airport, you aren't exactly spoilt for choice - and choice can be very limited...