Glendronach: 12 Year (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky:12 year: 43% ABV)
Visual: Reddened bronze.
Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.
Nose: Cherries on chocolate cake. Brandy cream. Sultanas. Vanilla fudge. Smooth. Water adds spiced orange notes.
Body: Very smooth, with a warming character. Raisins and sultanas. Plums. Lots of dark fruit. Glacier cherries and some sour cherry notes. Slight charred oak. Melted chocolate to chocolate liqueur. Water makes creamier and brings out spiced grapes.
Finish: Light oak. Raisins. Baileys. Chocolate liqueur. Slight alcohol air in a liqueur style. Water makes more baileys like but with a traditional whisky air.
Conclusion: I’m not 100% sure this whisky knows it is, in fact, a whisky. It seems to think it is a liqueur – possibly a whisky liqueur, but still a liqueur.
Now, I am not saying that as a bad thing, just as a way to try and communicate the very creamy and smooth character this thing brings to the table. Within that creamy body the emphasis is very much on the wide range of dark fruit – backed by a thematically appropriate dark chocolate and a smidgen hint of dark charred barrel. In the dark.
Despite the darkness of the flavours, the actual feel is just a tad light, but it has a lovely velvet texture and a mix of gateaux style cake experiences that are very pleasant. I actually prefer this to the 18 year old, despite the slight lightness of mouthfeel – it is less oaken and more balanced, even without water.
Speaking of water, this gains more of a traditional whisky air with water – especially floating around in the finish. Frankly it doesn’t need water, but if you miss the whisky styling then that will bring it back.
Overall, very smooth, tad light in the mouth feel but lovely dark dessert flavours helps push through that and makes it well worth while.
Background: *ahem again* “Ok, bias warning first: This is a part of the Masters Of Malt Whisky Calendar given to The Bath Whisky and Rum Club, part of Independent Spirit, who invited me to assist with the notes in return for uploading them to alcohol and aphorisms. Sounded a very fair deal to me. Also, due to this we each only had half of the 3cl bottle so thoughts are based on a smaller exploration than usual. On the other hand I could not say no to the chance to try so many new whiskies. Many thanks!”. I’ve tried some of the older expressions of Glendronach, including one that was given free to me at a whisky show for doing notes on, but never this one. Drunk while listing to the Guilty Gear soundtrack.
EDIT: Odd – Most of the books I have list this as Speyside, yet most shops online, the label and wikipedia call it highland whisky. I’ll go with the Michael Jackson book for now and leave it as Speyside but shall investigate.