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Glendronach releases four new wood finishes

GlenDronach Distillery in the Scottish Highlands has released four new wood finishes – Sauternes, Virgin Oak, Moscatel and Tawny Port Wood – the first of their kind from the 180 year-old Aberdeenshire distillery. Each expression was initially matured in European oak then finished in a very small batch of the respective wine barrels (or in one case, virgin oak). All are non-chill filtered and of natural colour and bottled at 46%abv.

GlenDronach 14YO Sauternes Finish

Appearance - bright lemon straw   
Nose - juicy and fresh. A blanket of creamed soda and wild strawberries backed up lush late harvest dessert wine. Hints of sherbet and ripe cherries. Very fruity.
Palate - apples and rhubarb drenched in home-made custard. Sweet dessert wine influences emerge with ripe sultanas and a lovely creamy heart.   
Conclusions - sweet fresh and fragrant with balanced acidity. Lots of finesse and elegance, whilst still maintaining the lively youthful elements.

GlenDronach 14YO Virgin Oak Finish

Appearance - light gold. Freshly harvested straw.           
Nose - toasted oak elements which are so intense that smoky attributes emerge. Sweet and lush tropical fruits rise with prominence. Banana and cacao, with roasted coconut.             
Palate - spiced ginger and cinnamon cake with a beautiful smoky twist. Creamed dessicated coconut and fresh buttered toast with a handful of hazelnuts on the side.       
Conclusion - a glorious nut feast with superb depth.

GlenDronach 15YO Moscatel Finish

Appearance - light gold.      
Nose - golden syrup and nutmeg. Poached peaches and apricot flavours with fresh figs and dates. Subtle marzipan on the tail intensifies the aromatics.      
Palate - sweet summer fruits of melon and pineapple intertwined with sweet ripe raisins and alcohol infused figs. Subtle marzipan adds a smooth round nutty edge.  
Conclusion - a warming mix of fruit, nuts. Lovely length and balance.

GlenDronach 20YO Tawny Port Finish

Appearance - bright amber with a subtle tawny edge.    
Nose - lashings of fine fortified wine elements and a generous portion of Mediterranean fruits including figs and dates.     
Palate - stewed fruits of prunes, pears and apples. The stewed fruit is balanced with an injection of liquorice and subtle aniseed flavours. Massive power and definition.       
Conclusion - a complex dram with a fantastic fortified backbone.

The release of a series of non-sherry wood finishes is certainly quite a departure from the norm for GlenDronach, where the tradition is to mature the whisky in big, rich sherry casks such as Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez.

As MD Billy Walker explains: “We’re not looking to change the style of GlenDronach. Our focus will continue to be on richly sherried malts, but we were interested to see how the whisky would react to different types of wood. It was important that the whiskies we selected for ‘finishing’ were not typical GlenDronach (richly sherried); instead we opted for whisky that had been maturing in lighter casks – this meant we could experience in full the impact of the second cask, be it Sauternes, Virgin Oak, Moscatel or Tawny Port.

“Each of these ‘finishes’ has been bottled in relatively small quantities, ranging from 340 cases of the Tawny Port Finish to 860 cases of the Virgin Oak Finish.”



1 August 2010 - Felicity Murray