54.7% Sherry Butt - Specially bottled for Whisky-Online.com
Lots of retailers seem to have jumped on the 1993’s that have become available in the past 12 months, and now appear to be everywhere. So it’s nice to see someone opting for a different vintage. And when it’s a 1992, it gets my attention. I personally think it is probably one of the best years for GlenDronach’s single cask programme, and there are some uncut diamonds waiting to be discovered.
This cask was selected by the guys at whisky-online.com, and represents the more feisty & bold side of GlenDronach.
Appearance: Deep polished Mahogany. Long, thick and slow oily legs (hardly surprising given the vintage)
Nose: An expected big hit of dark sherry, but with quite a balsamic vinegar and spent matchstick element. Tinned prunes and faint cherries steeped in maraschino syrup (Luxardo) show up. The spirit is initially a quite harsh, bold and in-your-face, but after a few minutes in the glass it setles down and allows notes of dark treacle to come through. The meaty & spent matchstick layer stays. This is where you see the benefit of letting air get to the whisky in the glass.
Palate: Oily sweetness. It’s sweeter than the nose would suggest and the sherry shines through. But there is a strong ashen edge with more of that sulphur that was detected on the first few sniffs. Now, this is where sulphur haters’ alarm bells may chime and will want to walk away (cue the man in the hat), And this is not a bad thing at all. If you do like a heavily sherried single cask whisky with a chewy sulphurous element, then you’ll really like this. It’s actually not a million miles away from batch 14’s cask #226 (that was my batch #14 winner by the way – read my review to see the similarities) So maybe these two casks came from the same sherry producer, were filled around the same time, and slumbered next to each other in the same warehouse for a very long time, as they share very similar traits. Going back to the flavours, there’s a gentle tart sourness with strawberry white chocolate. A soft oaky-bite makes an appearance before being shoulder barged aside to a more meaty/gamey spent matchstick chew.
Finish: Long, oily and mouth-coating. Sweetness and light bitterness alternate and then give over to a tobacco & sulphur linger.
Conclusion: As already eluded to, this is a JMT (Jim Murray Trauma) It is meaty and sulphurous, and it has bite.
There is big sherry and viscosity – absolutely no doubt about that - but it may not be to everyone’s taste. It’s not a dainty and delicate flower. This is a big, brazen volcanic rock-chomping brute. Just let it breathe in the glass and you’ll start to see the unraveling of many layers.
One for a cold evening by an open fire at the top of Mount Vesuvius?