Life

The GlenDronach Bottling Batch 18 Is A Four-Part Feast For The Senses

The first thing to come to my mind (and palate) for a prime summer sipper isn’t Scotch whisky. However, I’m never opposed to toasting a premium beverage at home or while traveling, and the country tip-toeing toward normalcy offers plenty to be happy about. Need another cause to celebrate? The GlenDronach Cask Bottling collection became available stateside for the first time ever in March.

Only 18 casks (all large format puncheons and pipes) dating from 1990 to 2009 made the Cask Bottling cut. Each cask was personally selected by the distillery’s Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie. Whether they’ve previously held sweet and rich Pedro Ximénez, nutty Oloroso, or fruit-forward port, each cask highlights a distinct character while remaining authentically The GlenDronach. The distillery released 18 expressions this go around with a few of them made available in the U.S., including bottlings from 1990, 1994, 2005, and 2008.

Global Brand Ambassador Stewart Buchanan described these exclusive casks to me as a “deconstruction of part of the core collection.” I think of them as the remix to a classic song — sometimes they’re better, sometimes not — it really depends on the person’s taste.

Are you ready to add to your special whisky vault? Let’s break down the four cask bottlings released in the U.S., below.

The GlenDronach 2008 Cask #3017, Aged 12 Years

The GlenDronach Distillery

ABV: 59.8%

Average Price: $140

The Whisky:

This expression was matured for 12 years in Oloroso puncheons. Only 628 bottles have been made available in the U.S.

Tasting Notes:

Oloroso translates as “aromatic,” and this expression fits the bill. Honey meets a touch of nuttiness on the nose for a delightful first impression. Upon rolling the whisky across the tongue, a rich blend of candied fruit, blackberry, and spice-drizzled oak enlivens the tasting even more, before its crescendo of leather and honey on the finish.

Bottom Line:

This has a robust palate with high proof, but it doesn’t punch you in the face (thankfully). Instead, it has a warm and creamy mouthfeel that makes for an enjoyable, memorable sipping experience.

The GlenDronach 2005 Cask #1928, Aged 14 Years

The GlenDronach Distillery

ABV: 58%

Average Price: $174

The Whisky:

This expression was matured for 14 years old in Pedro Ximénex puncheons. Only 612 bottles were sent over to the U.S.

Tasting Notes:

Harvest honey-gold hue is elegant and grabs you with an aroma of dark chocolate and delicate dehydrated orange. The soft and creamy palate reminds me of Black Forest cake drenched with dark cherry, blackberries, and more of the dark chocolate you experience at first whiff, but without being overly sweet. A chocolatey, spicy finish is an unexpected, but welcoming surprise.

Bottom Line:

Great, now I want a Black Forest cake to complement my dram! This makes for a lovely after-dinner treat (or if you’re me, an anytime treat).

The GlenDronach 1994 Cask #5287, Aged 26 Years

The GlenDronach Distillery

ABV: 51.3%

Average Price: $550

The Whisky:

This 26-year-old whisky was aged in Port pipes. 638 of these bottles are available in the U.S.

Tasting Notes:

The earthy and dense leather nose dances with sweet toffee and oak note that I almost want to wear as a perfume. The palate has a velvety mouthfeel riddled with cacao and blackberries. There’s dryness and a slightly bitter kick at the back of the palate with nuttiness and deep richness of barley. The lingering warm finish is the perfect conclusion to one exceptional pour.

Bottom Line:

This one’s a rollercoaster ride of vivid, flavorful nuances. Only share if you must and, if you do, make sure it’s with the people you love.

The GlenDronach 1993 Cask #7102, Aged 27 Years

The GlenDronach Distillery

ABV: 51.4%

Average Price: $715

The Whisky:

This amazing expression was matured in Oloroso puncheons for 27 years. 633 bottles were sent to U.S. stores.

Tasting Notes:

The color looks like a stained-glass window – absolutely beautiful deep amber. The seductive leathery notes on the nose lure you in for an equally alluring sip. Toasted cinnamon, deep and rich, more tannic on the tongue – a great sign of age and oak – with a hint of blackberry. The finish clings to dark cherry and a dash of spice.

Bottom Line:

The price is steep, so this is a bottle you’ll want to take time to savor. But I don’t believe in saving for special occasions because life comes at you fast. That said, I could enjoy a single glass of this for an entire evening, just nosing and sipping it while reflecting on blessings.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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