GlenDronach 1993 Cask #400 25yrs
53.6% Sherry Butt - Hand-Filled Manager’s Cask.
The Manager’s Cask. Hand-fill. Fill-your-own. Do-it-yourself. Call it what you will, these bottles that are only available at the distillery have become synonymous with the ultimate experience that you can take away from a distillery visit. They are the bottles that are quite literally the physical embodiment of you and the distillery. You held the bottle, you turned the little tap on the cask, and you watched your bottle slowly fill with something you know wasn’t available anywhere else, you corked and capped it. You even si
gned the label. It’s very personal. It’s a real one-off GD gem.
Well, almost. Auctions, some retailers (who likely inflate the already eye-watering price to nethe
r-region-shrinking-prices), and flippers. But those aside, buying one of these bottles at source is nothing short of a magical-mecca moment. It’s likely that you’ll sign the bottle yourself, and once you’ve drained the contents, will probably want to keep the empty autographed vessel for sentimental reasons. And why not. It is special.
At the time of writing this review, the latest hand-fill Manager’s cask is a 1993 25-year-old sherry monster. I’ve heard ’93 is an ‘ok’ year, but not sure where I heard that.
Appearance: Polished Mahogany. Long, thick and unhurried oily legs.
Nose: Warm toffee apple, heaps of sweaty raisins, thick prune juice, buttery shortbread, poached pears, cracked black peppercorns, polish, chopped nuts……..stop…..it’s sensory overload. Ah, and there’s a light whiff of marzipan on a fruit cake. Yessir! It’s a huge sherried bomb of a whisky. What else would you expect?
Palate: The immediate sensation is a warm firecracker caramel, but it quickly retreats and allows that welcome oily-rich sherry and brown sugar sweetness to appear and ooze all over the tongue and palate. As expected, there are spoonful’s of sherry-soaked boozy trifle, rich and dark. It’s just what GlenDronach stand for. But it is lively, and although the chilli-action dissipates, there does remain a peppery studding and fizz-pop on the tongue and palate. But it’s all about the flavour in this bit, and there is a lot of flavour.
Finish: Sweet & lively at first, but then an oilier and burnt sugar profile develops. The finish is beautifully long, no doubt, and rewards you with a liquorice-root-tongue-slap, before draping itself all over your mouth. Gentle dryness creeps in and gently pulls the sweetness away, leaving that magnificent balance of sweet/dry/bitter/oil that GlenDronach have almost trademarked.
Fruit buns on the nose, lighter & brighter sweetness on the palate, with extra pepper and liveliness. The finish is given to more oil and a bit more oaked dryness.
Conclusion: Another muscly 1993 powerhouse, but a little more lively than other recent ’93 cask releases.It’s still going to excite and please us fans, as it delivers on all levels and the cask selection is again, on-point.The one criticism I would say is quite simply the price.It’s a lot of money, and many won’t have the opportunity to try this because of that (plus the trip to the distillery) But then I could say that prices are going up across the industry, and let’s be honest, they ain’t going to go down.It’s just the acceleration of price increase that is a bit scary. But this bottle? Fab. Buy one. Or three.