And another peat-monster runs out of the GlenDronach stables. Whereas the current and widely available ‘GlenDronach Peated’ is influenced by bourbon and sherry casks, this new one has been finished in Douro Valley port pipes. They both share the same alcohol content of 46%, but is latest personality one the pin-striped suit-wearing rosy cheeked cigar-smoking chubby uncle holding a warm bacon sandwich?
Appearance: Rosé wine with a pinkish tinge. A lot of thin & fast oily legs.
Nose: Sweetness and medium peat smoke. Summer fruits - damson, over-ripe strawberries and soft plums. A whiff of hay. There’s definitely a sweet liquorice note going on as well... maybe that round ‘coconutty’ yellow one with the black liquorice centre. And I even got a whiff of hot chocolate.
Palate: Restrained and medium sweetness appears at first and is immediately pushed to the side with a dry woodiness that’s supported by some fizzy pepper. It is quite thick and oily though. The fruit that was on the nose is there, but is now reduced – like a rogue fat and overripe strawberry escapee that’s made it onto the tongue. The sweetness comes back and is somewhat cloying. The peat smoke isn’t that overpowering, but is definitely a dominant element. Now I’ve got some sweet cured smoked bacon. It’s quite a mixed bag of flavours.
Finish: Short to medium. For me, the sweetness is unbalanced and gives over to a fizzy woody bite. It then comes back with an added oiliness. All the while, the peat smoke is there having a little dance with that smoked bacon and Port-sweetness. That oil really coats the roof of the mouth and the lips...
Conclusion: I have to be honest and say this isn’t pressing my buttons. It’s confusing. I’m starting to think Port and peat are not something that work for me if the balance isn’t to my liking, which is odd as I love sherry and peat. But then Port and Sherry are not the same are they..
However, this will no doubt bring a lot of sweet smoked bacon joy to many people. Just not me.