GlenDronach Grandeur Batch #10
27 years, 50.1% ABV
Released only a year after Grandeur batch #9, the 27 year-old batch #10 is 3 years older coming in at 27. 27 years old. That’s a long time slumbering in a cask.
As highlighted in the last review, these annual Grandeur bottlings are created to epitomise the heart and soul of the distillery and reflect the crème de la crème of cask selection. Rachel Barrie has the (un)enviable job of walking around the warehouse and choosing from a ridiculous number of casks that are worthy enough to be vatted together to hold the Grandeur name.
The Grandeur bottles are not about high alcoholic content. They are the refined walnut case-clad ambassadors of the distillery that are super-limited and represent some stonking casks. To create a bottle Grandeur isn’t just about throwing some casks together and hoping for the best - they must complement one another and marry perfectly to produce an experience in taste & character. For batch 10, Rachel has selected whiskies that were matured in both Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks. This has given a balance of fruitiness, sweetness, and dry-nuttiness.
As mentioned before in the previous review, some of the batches haven’t always deserved the Grandeur title as they were (in my opinion), sub-par. Which is a travesty when you think about how much a bottle costs. They are very expensive. The drinker should pop the cork and expect to enjoy every drop right to the end.
Appearance: Medium-dark amber with thin & slow waxen legs.
Nose: Fresh & quite fruity with lots of plump, overripe grapes drizzled in sherry. Shoe polish and sticky toffee pudding rise-up before you breathe in dark cherry and blackcurrant jam with scents of some old- worn leather. After a few more minutes in the glass, more toffee comes out with the faintest of whiff of caramelised banana. Absolutely no alcohol burn in the nose whatsoever.
Palate: Sweetness flows to every part of the palate with a burnt sugar-nip. The sweetness of the sherry now allows an oily tobacco-ness to press on the taste buds. Toasted (very toasted) wholemeal bread gives a slight bitter-maltiness. Cinder toffee (aka honeycomb toffee), molasses, and liquorice dance around and alternate.
Finish: Long & oily with bitter-sweet viscosity. Faint tobacco lingers at the back and top of the mouth.
Conclusion: The ABV here is absolutely on-point. No water whatsoever was used to dilute this Grandeur and the longer the whisky sat in the glass, the better it became. My personal opinion is that I’d score batch #9 a few points above this one. But #10 is lovely without a shadow of a doubt and showcases the beautiful things that can come out of those warehouses.