GlenDronach’s Cask Bottling series rolls along with Batch 19 of the single malt whiskies, of which three single cask offerings are on tap. There’s more similarity in these three whiskies than in previous Cask Bottling Batches, with ages ranging from 27 to 29 years old, and all three aged in some form of sherry cask. (There are 12 casks in total with the release, but only these three are available in the U.S.)
Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie said, “The GlenDronach Cask Bottling Batch 19 offers an insight into our sherry cask maturation history and the exceptional quality of the casks we have at The GlenDronach. I have personally chosen these casks to celebrate and share the very best of the distillery’s character. Each represents the rich selection of barrels, Hogsheads, Puncheons and Butts that have been used throughout The GlenDronach’s history. This release reflects our enduring commitment to crafting the most exceptional, richly sherried Single Malts representative of The GlenDronach’s rare dedication to its craft, embodied in every expression.”
We’ve got all the production details for each release below, so let’s dive in.
GlenDronach Cask Bottling Batch 19 1992 Cask 217 – 29 years old, aged in an oloroso sherry butt. Deep mahogany in color and intensely winey on the nose, undercut with a mountain of roasted nuts and sweaty saddle leather (in a good way), this is a powerhouse whisky from the get-go. Almost overwhelming on the palate, the sherry dominates with notes of toasted walnuts, almond skins, dark chocolate, and flamed orange peel — and none of this is subtle. This is steel gauntlet to the face, oily and leathery, fading to a Christmassy spiced raisin character laced with molasses on the warming, enduring finish. It feels criminal drinking this in the summer. 110.8 proof. 383 bottles produced. A- / $820 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
GlenDronach Cask Bottling Batch 19 1992 Cask 6052 – 28 years old, aged in a Pedro Ximénez puncheon. Richer and brooding on the nose, with a beefier quality and notes of black pepper, and some sharper furniture polish elements in the mix. The PX influence gives the palate a surprisingly much sweeter quality than Cask 217, notes of plum pudding, semi-sweet chocolate, and almond nougat all present. Notes of tea leaf linger here, and the expected rush of tannic leather and roasted meats telegraphed by the nose never materializes, which is certainly for the best. Instead we conclude with some oxidized wine and a layer of perfume and spices, all gently smoked. A much different whisky than Cask 217, but every bit as explorable. 101.6 proof. 658 bottles produced. A- / $720 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
GlenDronach Cask Bottling Batch 19 1994 Cask 5080 – Back to oloroso for this 27 year old, though this one’s aged in a larger puncheon. Much of the same nutty, winey richness on the nose, with sultanas and citrus in equal proportion. Notes of petrol are a bit more evident here, but quite mild. The palate is just as oily and rich as Cask 217, never straying far from that whisky’s setup. The palate feels a bit more buttery than the 217, with a butterscotch note tempering some of the darker fruit, orange peel, and chocolate notes. More honey than molasses on the finish, with those oxidized wine notes brooding in the background. 108.6 proof. 667 bottles produced. A bit simpler than 217, but instructive as a comparison point. A- / $600