Taste: GlenDronach 14 year old Sauternes Finish

Friday, January 31, 2014

Here's another 50ml sample from the Jolly Topper tastings that I attend now and again, actually this might be the last raffle prize I possess, so I'll have to get myself back along shortly. JT is holding a couple of charity tasting nights during February, so if you are in or around the Edinburgh area; get yourself along. Apart from a newbie tasting night there is another for more experienced whisky drinkers with raffles, prizes and an auction. So all experience levels are catered for - plus it is for charity!

Actually, this is my first GlenDronach taste review so long overdue. The distillery by nature isn't a big name or comes armed with a reputation. This cask finish was one of a handful special edition releases the distillery put out in 2010.

On a side note I was stunned that one of the Ardbeg mini-watering cans (pictured above) reached £70 in a recent Scottish Whisky Auction. So I had to get the wee fella out and make use of him to justify his continuing presence with me!

Distillery: GlenDronach
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2010 so 14 years old
Strength: 46%
Cask: ex-bourbon finished in premier cru Sauternes casks
Price: circa £40

Colour: ice tea
Nose: Hazelnut, cream soda sweetness, marzipan, citrus almost pineapple but not a hugely rich nose overall. 
Taste: Well, my first tasting the emphasis was roasted coffee beans with the finish providing a spurt of dessert wine. That's a really odd journey almost a summary of the end of a restaurant meal. Returning for another the taste leads on to dark chocolate and sadly very little else.

In summary this is a very sweet whisky that has gained a much needed added dimension from the Sauternes finish. Critically if it wasn't for this wine cask finish, I think the whisky itself would be very mundane. There is a vogue for cask finishes currently championed by Glenmorangie and these fashionable inclusions do not work 100% of the time. I'm all for having tried and failed, rather than sitting on the side lines gazing onto what might have been.

I find it hard to recommend this particular whisky unless you have a preference for all things sweet. Even then with such a devotion, I'd point you in the direction of the excellent Longrow Red Shiraz cask release from 2013.

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