Specially bottled for Abbey Whisky's 10th Anniversary. Sherry Butt.
When this bottle appeared, it was gone within minutes. It's a special bottling of the infamous year of 1993 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Abbey Whisky. Those who are familiar with Abbey Whisky and Mike Sharples know that they have a 6th sense for sniffing out and choosing outstanding casks from distillery warehouses. Cask #33 was the first, followed by #3400 a short time later. Both of which were outstanding. This latest GlenDronach bottle is just as impressive and packs a massive punch. A 60.6% punch.
Appearance: Red Mahogany. Long, thick and unhurried oily legs.
Nose: Absolutely ridiculous sherry. It's so concentrated it's verging on a sherry reduction. Masses of tinned plums, soggy booze-drenched raisins, rich fruit cake and black cherries. This is what a GlenDronach nose stands for, in all its sherrybomb glory. That lovely old waxy antique furniture polish comes through with a handful of wet pear drops that have been left in the warehouse to soak in the damp dunnage-air. Then there's a welcomed velvety milk chocolate, warm caramel, and a whiff of Turkish coffee. Everything is sweet, sherried, and is a diabetics worst nightmare. Glorious.
Palate: Rich and sherry-sweet, thick, and oily. It's big, bold, and brazen. And it knows it, but you know there's more to come. Light bitterness appears paired with a crackling of pepper on the tongue. Concentrated tinned prune juice, runny caramel sauce, thick and dark heavy sherry, and rich vanilla custard just ooze all over the tongue and cover the mouth in a rich tingly oiliness. A medium-bitter espresso dryness then spreads to the sides of the tongue and the back of the throat.
Finish: Very long and sweet. A liquorice bitterness hangs around on the tongue with a lingering dryness. The switch from sweet to dry to sweet to dry goes on. It's rich, oily, and thick.
Water works well (it is over 60% after all), and adds... Increased furniture polish, dark soy sauce, black cherries, and custard on the nose, with softer but more refined sweetness and liquorice bitterness on the palate. The finish is drier with a more pronounced white pepper studding.
Conclusion: Powerful on all levels. Simply put - if you are a fan of sweet & rich explosive GlenDronach sherrybombs, this will tick all your boxes with a heavy-leaded pencil. It's a 'shock and awe' attack of sherriness, but with refinement. Its powerful sweet-frontage is backed up by a layering of hidden complexity, but I think the complexity is eased out with a drop of water.