Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 1

by Matti

Alright, time for the first ingredient-review of ‘For the love of Oomph‘: Glendronach Cask Strength is a bit of an oddball whisky. In a time where whisky companies are primarily using the vessel of  No Age Statement (NAS) bottlings to get away with selling us younger whisky at higher prices (boo!), Glendronach is bucking the trend (yay!). Sure, this bottling is contains young whisky, but there is also a decent part which is fairly old (in the 20s I’ve been told by a source which for now I will dub ‘credible’). The result is a fairly expensive bottle for a NAS (€60 or so). Does the experience justify the price? Let’s find out!

Glendronach Cask Strength batch 1This whisky is a vatting of whisky matured in Oloroso and PX sherry casks and it shows in the nose. Both the characteristic candy-like aroma of PX and the more woody, dried fruit of Oloroso are present. It takes water well (so would you if you were 55% abv). Both water and time make for a much rounder and complex nose. There’s some cookie dough in there, as well as earl grey tea. Caramel and even a hint of vanilla round out the nose. Really complex, lovely stuff.

The taste is sweet, but not overly so. Mouth-coating and a little peppery to the sides of the tongue. The overwhelming theme is dried fruit: sultanas, raisins, figs, you name it and it’s in there. Theres also some meringue and a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon which continues into the finish, a fairly long affair with a little sour note and some drying qualities, mild spice and sweet citrus.

Overall this is good. In fact: really good and well worth the price. The combination of casks and ages has worked wonders and it is therefore no big surprise the bottling sold out in weeks (but batch 2 is entering the market as we speak, so do not despair!).

In the blend I foresee this expression working as the solid base on which to build. The a’bunadh is much younger and feistier and the Caol Ila is there to add a little peat-blast. I am quite curious if the eventual blend will be able to match the splendour of this bottling, though. Only one way to find out: tune in again for the next episode of ‘Full House’ (In which Bob Saget finds out he’s actually a whisky from the isle of Islay. Hilarity ensues.)