Oloroso Butt 57.1% - Specially bottled for Abbey Whisky's 10th Anniversary.
Just like an unexpected visit from Godzilla appearing from nowhere, Mike Sharples @Abbey Whisky releases yet another monster from the GlenDronach vintage stables. This is Abbey’s first 1992 selection (previous bottlings have been a couple of 1993’s and a 1994), and even before the bottle finds itself completely out of the tube, it looks outstanding. Dark and brooding.
Just like the others, when this bottle went live on their website, Abbey Whisky had completely sold out in around an hour. It’s becoming absolutely crazy now that these Abbey bottles sell so fast – but with the reputation Mike Sharples has for choosing outstanding casks (and not just across GlenDronach I might add), it’s not that surprising. But this can be a double-edged sword as if you make one wrong move, that reputation can be dented.
So, what’s this latest 10th Anniversary 1992 cask #66 going to be like… will it perform well against the mighty #33, #3400 and #652 that came out of Abbey over the past few years? I’m sure it will be rubbish and taste of dishwater.
Appearance: Deep polished Walnut verging on maple syrup. Long, thick legs cling to glass walls and creep down very, very slowly.
Nose: Huge wafts of waxen polish and cherries assault the senses, closely followed by warming pear drops/acetone, milky chocolate, crushed vanilla pods, softened toffee, and moist Dundee cake. There are leaves (the official tasting notes say “Eucalyptus” and this is spot-on), ground nuts, and sweet-dampness. And holding it all together… rich and powerful sherry.
The total epitome of a GlenDronach sherried monster. My nose needs to lie down after this sensory attack.
Palate: Even before the liquid hits the lips, you know what’s coming. Sherried sweetness floods the mouth and laps over the tongue. It then sinks its claws in and there’s a light oaky bitter bite. It’s a fantastic timed balance of sweet ‘n’ bitter. At the back-end, chocolate coated raisins are there along with gentle chilli-infused toffee that gives a slight tingly studding to the tongue. Now the chilli-fizz moves to the tip and sides of the tongue allowing thick-cut pith from orange marmalade to appear. A sweet desiccated coconut element now arrives with some coco powder, and then transitions to a sip of hot chocolate. And all the while, sherry. Lots of outrageous sherry. It’s all over the place, but beautifully balanced.
Finish: Extremely long and lingering. Oily sweetness coats the palate, and slowly dissipates to a very well-behaved dryness to the roof of the mouth. Gentle tingling stays at the sides of the tongue. Faint tobacco and oakiness dance around in the distance– but they are quite far off and behave themselves.
Water adds…. A lovely gentle sourness on the nose with a balsamic element. More dryness and oakiness on the palate, with a slightly less-oily, but still incredibly long finish.
Conclusion: Another bullseye. Dark, rich, and sweet. Superb on all levels.And it’s from an Oloroso Butt. So an extra yumminess point for that.