Venture out into the rugged Highlands of Aberdeenshire and nestled amongst the dramatic craggy cliff faces, moorland, and lush green mountains you’ll come across the category-B listed building – Glendronach Distillery.
Owned by Brown-Forman and situated near Forgue, and founded in 1826, the distillery draws its water from Dronac Burn, has its own floor maltings, 2 wash and 2 spirit stills, and has a capacity of 1, 300, 000 litres every single year.
The name Glendronach is derived from the Scottish Gaelic Gleann Dronach, which roughly translates to ‘valley of the blackberries’, or, ‘valley of the brambles’.
Glendronach are responsible for producing some of the finest single malts on the market today, with their Original, Revival, and Parliament bottles in particular, proving to be real hits in the whisky world.
The Glendronach 12-Year-Old ‘Original’ is their entry-level single malt, but don’t let this fool you, it is every bit as complex and rich as a whisky which has been aged for years longer.
A rich sherried single malt, the Glendronach 12 has matured for a minimum of 12 years in a combination of Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks, giving the whisky amazing depth and layers.
The natural light amber coloured whisky is 43% ABV and is therefore a great entry into the world of Scotch for people new to single malts. It is smooth, creamy, smoky, and fruity all in equal measure.
On the nose you get sweet Madagascan vanilla, coupled with fruity sherry, poached pears, and star anise.
Upon first sip, your palate is rewarded with mixed berries, rich, creamy, and silky smooth notes of oatmeal, plump and fruity raisins, sticky toffee pudding, and all spice.
The finish is ridiculously smooth with fruit and nut dark chocolate notes, and a finish that lingers.
For those in search of something a little deeper and more complex, the Glendronach 15 ‘Revival’ comes very highly recommended indeed.
At 46% ABV, this wee dram is a little stronger than the 12-year-old ‘Original’ and is also a touch darker in colour, offering a beautiful bronze coloured shimmer.
On the nose you immediately pick up notes of cherry, blackberries, and dark chocolate, with hints of Seville marmalade to follow.
On the palate, your first sip should reward you with rich honeycomb, sticky dates and figs, jamy apricots, and muscovado sugar. These sweet and fruity flavours gradually fade away, to be complimented by oak smoke dark cocoa beans.
The finish is medium-smooth and provides yet more honeyed notes, along with mulled spices and a hint of mixed berries.
Finally, we have Glendronach ‘Parliament’, which has been aged for a whopping 21 years at least, in a combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.
This single malt is the strongest yet, coming in at 48% ABV, so there is a distinct burn in the throat to remind you that you’re fortunate enough to be devouring a proper Scotch single malt!
The ‘Parliament’ is another rich and fruity whisky that Glendronach are so famous for, and it may be their best yet. With its stunning all-natural deep cherry brown colour, it looks just as great as it tastes.
Incidentally, this whisky gets its name from the rooks that have been nesting within the trees that have been overlooking the distillery for over 200 years. The collective noun for a group of rooks is of course a ‘parliament’.
On the nose you’ll detect a combination of mixed blackberries and cherries, along with ripe plums and mulled orange. Sniff again and you’ll pick up creamy Scottish oats and buttery biscuits that balance the aromas out perfectly.
On the palate you should get bitter chocolate, candied orange, and that unmistakable taste of Oloroso sherry. Go in for a second sip and you’ll pick up stewed plum pudding notes, warm winter spices, smoked oak, and plump and juicy raisins.
The finish is long and lingers, providing a wonderful tannin-rich mouthfeel coupled with mulled autumnal spices, sticky marmalade notes, juicy figs and dates.
To learn more about the huge array of Glendronach whiskies that are currently available, or simply to stock up on your favourite tipples, be sure to take a look at https://greatdrams.com/ to find out more about a whole world of whisky just waiting to be discovered.