Updated: Jan 22
Glendronach 18 Allardice - 2019- 46%
I first tried Glendronach 15 in 2015 right around the time they announced it would be discontinued for three years because of supply shortages. When it did return, I tried it side-by-side with the older 15 which was noticeably richer. At the time, I had no idea that Glendronach had been shuttered for a time (1996-2001) or that to maintain minimum age statements they were bottling 20 year old scotch in a 15 year package. 5 years later, this 2019 bottling of the 18 year should also be older distillate (23-24 yr scotch would be the youngest available from the old runs that meets the 18 yr minimum). While Glendronach 18 yr has always gotten solid reviews, there's extra buzz around these 2019 bottlings - produced on coal fired stills (discontinued in 2005), 20+ yr scotch produced before the shut down, matured in Oloroso sherry casks. Certainly checks a lot of boxes.
Nose: Fruitcake. Caramel. Orange. Chocolate. Mushroom. Soft oak.
Flavor: Dried fruits. Buttery. Dark chocolate. Prunes. Grains. Baking spice. Faint char and ash. Bready and chocolate-y in the finish.
Structure: Slow and soft upfront. Then it picks up some steam and tumbling over itself for a long, dynamic finish.
Alcohol Integration: Wonderfully balanced.
Score: 9 (Stash Two) I can't believe how addicting this pour is. I'm ripping through it at an alarming rate. ABV is totally dialed in. I love cask strength bottlings, but this is balanced and dynamic. Harmonious. Great clarity. Transitions are seamless. Long on the palate for the proof.
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It's not so much that the profile is similar, but the body and structure and crushability are right in line.
10 - Reevaluate The Budget
9 - Stash Two (If Able)
8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)
7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers
6 - Solid - Above Average
5 - Acceptable For The Situation
4 - Not Vocally Complaining
3 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour