Batch 12 of GlenDronach’s Cask Strength is about to hit the shelves, but before we get to that review, let’s back up a bit. Since Chris was so impressed with Batch 11, I decided to shell out some of my hard-earned Drinkhacker cash on a bottle of Batch 10 (yes, we actually pay for bottles sometimes). Batch 10 clocked in at a slightly lower barrel strength, but otherwise it is the same marriage of single malts aged in oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and carrying no age statement. Let’s see how it compares, shall we?
There’s definitely a theme to these whiskies, and it’s sherry. Beautiful, deep sherry. Still, this tenth batch of GlenDronach Cask Strength is a bit more austere on the nose than its successor, suggesting a heavier hand from the drier oloroso. The aroma doesn’t jump from the glass like its future self, but with a little extra time to arrive, elegant and airy notes of currants, dark raisin, and cocoa powder grace the stage. The palate, however, is just as impressive and decadently rich, if not more so. Chris reveled in the “almost pruny glory” of Batch 11, and while Batch 10 presents a similarly lush, deep sweetness, there’s a brighter, more complex fruit dimension here also that flexes with orange peel, dark cherry, and poached pears alongside a secondary layer of sherry-inspired dark berries. It’s similarly exotic with spice from both the cabinet and more far-flung locales, but it’s also a bit gentler with an even, hugging warmth. The finish is wonderfully long and simmering with oak, date chutney, candied almonds, and Christmas cake.
Batch 11 may have been tailored more to the PX fans, but Batch 10 is a bit more for the oloroso lovers. Another exceptional Cask Strength release from GlenDronach.
A / $100 / glendronachdistillery.com