Glendronach whisky is a true Speyside ‘sherry monster’, with almost of the range being 100% matured in Spanish Sherry Oak.
After the Benriach Distillery Company took ownership of Glendronach in 2008, a new core range was released. This consisted of the 12 year old ‘Original’, 15 year old ‘Revival’ and 18 year old ‘Allardice’ expressions, the latter named after the distillery founder, James Allardice.
Unfortunately this ‘Revival’ revival expression was discontinued a few years ago due to stock shortages (however is apparently coming back next year), but the full Glendronach range now includes the 8 year old ‘Heilan’ and 21 year old ‘Parliament’.
The 15 year old is ‘exclusively matured in the finest Spanish Oloroso Sherry Casks’ and seeing the natural colour, it’s easy to see the influence of the oak on this whisky.
It’s bottled at a healthy 46% ABV and our notes are below.
Rich nose with burnt toffee, vanilla and orange blossom being the first flavours which I detected. Dried fruit also present, but a much drier and darker than the typical ‘Christmas cake’ combination.
A slightly salty savoury note (beef stock?) be detected, slightly nutty and a just a hint of smoke.
The liquid is as big and rich as the nose with a silky texture which lightly coats the mouth.
First note is plump raisin and dates but turns bitter with coffee and dark chocolate taking over. Wonderful burnt sugar flavour picks up and some perfumed orange rind balances brings some more sweetness.
Gets a bit spicy with a black pepper kick in the back of the throat and some cinnamon dryness.
The dryness from the palette turns into a long, leathery finish with a pleasant bitterness. Cocoa nibs appear and then a unexpected jammy sugar kick right at the end.
The Glendronach 15 Revivial is a fantastic whisky which will appeal to anyone who loves a Sherry bomb.
It’s not a lightweight dram however and the strong bitter notes combined with the dry finish make it a drink for after dinner.
That said, I’ll be sad to see this bottle go and can only hope the replacement expression is as good.