Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Another hiatus of nearly 17 months between batch 8 and batch 9 of GlenDronach’s NAS Cask Strength series. These long waits on releases seem to be the norm now with the distillery. Given Batch#7 was a unanimous thumbs down, Batch 8 was a clear thumbs-up, I was intrigued to see where Batch 9 would land...
Appearance: Medium amber. Thin & fast oily legs.
Nose: Quite a deep and “chewy” sherry nose at the fore. Burnt toffee, brown sugar, followed by a freshly opened packet of Jelly Babies and a box of nutty milk chocolates. There’s also a strange, faint chemical plastic scent in the background.
No alcohol-burn whatsoever, which is a surprise given this is 59.4% ABV.
Palate: Initially, the delivery is quite hot & fiery with peppery-tingling alcohol, but it calms down and immediately shifts to a sweet & oily mouthfeel. There’s also a slightly salty element that reminds me of Shaoxing cooking wine. Youth is jostling with more aged whiskies here. In the final waves, there’s a background rubbery, plasticised element and something else I can’t quite put my finger on… dried mushrooms? Contact adhesive? It's an unpleasant taste and sets off alarm bells about the casks used to create this release.
Finish: Medium-long, with some saccharin sweetness. But that mushroom taste is not going away, and it’s also now joined by faint raw white cabbage after a minute or two.
With water… Lighter and floral on the nose, fruitier on the palate. Much lighter all-round on the finish.
Conclusion: I tried this sample over 3 days to make sure I was being fair. There are some elements I like on the nose, but there are far too many elements that I don’t like on the palate (brine, plastic, mushroom, cabbage)
15 minutes after writing this review, and the strange and unpleasant aftertaste is still there.
I won’t be rushing out to buy a bottle of this, it's possibly the most unpleasant GlenDronach I've ever had.