Glendronach 12 Year Old

Reviewed by: Nick

Glendronach 12 Year Old

Now, be honest with me. Raise your right hand if you have bought, with your own money, in the last six months, a bottle of sherry? Anyone? I thought as much.

The once proud sherry industry is declining slowly, but surely. While on the surface this may not seem to really affect we drinkers of distilled barley, there is, in fact, much cause for concern. Because without sherry, specifically, without the barrels that once contained the stuff, many of the most wonderful whiskies in the world would not exist.

Case in point: the Glendronach 12 Year Old. And it is a great little drop. Vibrant, spicy, balanced and heavily sherried. The latter is not a subjective tasting note. The whisky does indeed possess a highly sherried character because it has been matured in a mixture of Pedro Ximinez and Oloroso sherry barrels.

The flavour this imparts is obvious on the nose in the form of sweet creamy raisin aromas. There is a golden syrup-like quality, too, alongside dried figs and orange peel.

On the palate the flavours are, surprisingly, not as sweet as the nose suggests. However it has a smooth mouth feel and the creaminess is still present. There is a nuttiness about it as well, and more dried fruit with perhaps a touch of glace cherries. Little wonder sherry-matured whiskies are regularly likened to fruitcake.

The finish is short, disappointingly, as up to this point I was immensely enjoying the ride. Wait – there it is, ever so subtly lingering at the back of the throat with the remnants of the grape flavours. I had to go searching for this one, but I found once discovered it glows faintly, like the last few embers of a campfire.

The sweetness of this whisky is nice, although it would probably discourage me from having too many drams of this in the one night. Instead, this is the perfect choice to directly follow a bourbon-aged malt at a tasting, to really show just how radically different sherry matured whisky is.

We may as well enjoy it for the time being. Because as time rolls on there will be fewer and fewer sherry barrels around to put whisky in.

★★★

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19 comments

  1. Haha! Loved the intro and entirely true… I don’t think I have EVER bought with my own money sherry though my mother used to very occasionally have a bottle for a little late evening sip… a habit she has long since lost.

    And I completely agree with you that the world of whisky will be a much poorer place without some lovely sherry barrels to finish in!

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  2. Given the choice of a sherry finished whiskey and one without – I’d always go for the former. Done properly it adds gorgeous aromas and taste to the dram – done by half and you only get a mere whiff – still better than nothing. Roll out the barrels!

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    1. While here in Aus we are doing some fine things with port barrels and wine barrels, it’s hard to beat a European oak Pedro Ximinez or Oloroso. I agree with your sentiments completely!
      Keep on waffling,
      Nick

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  3. I’ve been hunting down a bottle of this for AGES!(alongside Balblair) I just got done doing a review of Cardhu 12 and was wondering if you guys did a post on it or hard thoughts on it?

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    1. It’s worth tracking down. That and the older expressions… As for the Cardhu, I’ve only had it the once and it didn’t particularly grab me. I currently mostly associate it with Johnnie Walker, which is perhaps a bit unfair.
      Anyway, I look forward to checking it out!
      Keep on waffling,
      Nick

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    1. Cheers for the tip. I’ll put it on the bucket list!
      I get the impression I could really like sherry… if it wasn’t for a less than memorable tokay experience back in the day. I’ll have to find a drier one that doesn’t remind me so much of the sweet stuff…
      Keep on waffling.
      Nick

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nicely informed, and very well said. The good Speysides will get more expensive, nooo! 😦

    I had that Glendronach at a tasting recently, very nice indeed. If I didn’t already spent too much on whisky I might have bought. Well, I’ll buy it some day 😉

    Thanks for sharing and happy waffling!

    Cheers,
    Tieme

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    1. Cheers man. I must say I’m a bit of a fan – I’ve got an unopened bottle of the 15 YO ready to go. I am looking forward to that one very much! When I finally crack it, I’ll let you know what I think!
      Keep on waffling,
      Nick

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wonderful 🙂 I am on the hunt for a cask strength Coal Ila, 12 YO. I had a good bottle, but drank it. Looking forward to drinking a nice from is great! Make sure you let us know!

        Cheers,
        Tieme

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  5. Does anyone know how much an unopened bottle of 12 year old Glenbronach single malt whiskey would be. This was purchased in 1980. Thank you.

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    1. These days a Glendronach 12 Year Old would be worth about US$50 though a bottle from 1980 is a completely different beast. It entire depends on the collector but I’d guess somewhere in the realms of US$200-$400.
      I’m Australian so can add on another 20% to the price. Cheers government!
      I hope that goes… erm… some way to answering your question!
      Keep on waffling,
      Nick

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