If anyone mentions Glendronach to a group of whisky drinkers, only one thing would pop up in their minds; that is, sherry casks. After all, they are the ones who call themselves “The Sherry Cask Connoisseurs,” and rightly so, as their rich and medium-heavy style of whiskies have made them one of the most iconic sherried whiskies in all of the Highlands. Glendronach are rich, bold and has a medium to heavy weight in the character of its whiskies, which are perfectly suited to sherry cask aging.
In recent times, Glendronach have been synonymous with their single cask releases, and their batch 14 release have cemented such a cult following that many have attempted or gone on to completing them.
Glendronach 2004 Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – Single Cask #5523, aged 12 Years – 58.3% Non chill-filtered.
Nose: The nose is rich and intense. A sharp hit of pepper initially, followed up by some dark and dried fruits, with over ripe dates and dried candied orange being the most apparent, while the oiliness of the whisky translates to a decadent salty toffee note. As with most whiskies from this distillery, a nice earthy tobacco undertone is also present. With a couple drops of water, the dram eases off, showing off more of its cleaner elegant side, unveiling some vanilla and dried ginger. 76/100
Palate: Strong! Consider the nose to be an appropriate usher to welcome the palate. The palate is rich and so decadently chewy. Non-chill filtering does wonders to a whisky, and it is so apparent in this whisky’s lovely texture. Really thick notes of dried figs, dates, almost-stale raisins and an apparent hint of rubber. (I am a big fan of the rubbery notes!) The palate finishes off with some thick molasses. 82/100
Finish: More of the thick molasses, almost feels like the finish of a feisty rum. The spiciness of the pepper bids you farewell with a gentle tingle, not unlike the aftertaste of charred capsicums. 74/100
Afterthoughts: I imagine the initial peppery notes of this whisky is what being hit with pepper spray might be like, (but toned down fifty-fold) so sharp that it made me tear up a little. To be fair, it is a freshly opened bottle, and letting it breathe for 10 minutes or so would do wonders. Reputation definitely did not exceed this whisky, as it is a treat for fans of sherried whisky. PX cask aging definitely gives it sweetness, but it remained from being too sweet and cloying for the whole experience. Do add water when drinking this, but only do so with a 2-3 drops at a time, as the whisky changes quite dramatically; the nose opens up with a lot more dried fruits, and the palate opens up with a sweet warming heat.
I score it: 77/100
Thanks for reading! Kanpai!
Opinions and pictures are my own.