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Fans of sherry cask matured single malt know all about the Macallan—after all, it’s hard to miss the high age statement and even higher priced whiskies that this distillery seems to release several times a year. But those who like a strong sherry influence on their malt should pay close attention to the GlenDronach, a Highland distillery that just released a cask-strength whisky that is both strong and full flavored.
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According to master blender Rachel Barrie, who also oversees the whisky produced at BenRiach and Glenglassaugh, the GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 12 is as much a nod to the past as it is the distillery thinking about future whisky drinkers. “The GlenDronach Cask Strength offers connoisseurs a deep insight into the distillery’s signature character,” she said in a statement, “by bottling at the whisky’s natural cask strength, as was the custom before the turn of the 20th century.” In this case, cask strength equals 58.2 percent ABV. The whisky was aged in both Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks, but carries no age statement like past releases of this particular GlenDronach whisky. Barrie recommends adding some water to your dram to unlock some hidden notes. “Add a drop or two of water to open up the liquid and reveal a cornucopia of flavors, from rich mocha to raisin-filled fruit-cake and indulgent crème brûlée,” she said, which makes this sound like a good after-dinner whisky.
Like all other GlenDronach expressions, no color is added to the whisky so the dark bronze you see in your glass comes solely from its time spent in casks. The core GlenDronach range consists of whiskies aged from 12 to 21 years, all of which are excellent in their own unique ways. The distillery also has a range of limited-edition bottlings, including the Grandeur series of whiskies aged for more than two decades, Port Wood which gets a secondary maturation in port pipes, and the GlenDronach 50 which is the oldest release from the distillery to date.
The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 12 will be available from select retailers starting this month (SRP $105), so you may not be able to find it online for purchase yet. But you can find older cask strength releases from websites like ReserveBar, so pick up one of these if you want to do a side-by-side comparison tasting as each one varies in ABV and flavor.
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