|Bottled for||Bottled Exclusively for The Duchess|
|Cask Type||Virgin Oak Hogshead|
|Condition||In Original Container|
I wager. Colour: gold. Nose: it is sweeter oak this time, with the anticipated (well, expected) vanilla and rather a lot of herbal teas, from the usual chamomile to verbena. Plus maple syrup, roasted raisins, and just all-flower honey. Warning, water may totally change it, in my experience. With water: it rather does, with more banana skin and other fruit peelings. In short, it gets drier. Mouth (neat): really good, easy, with some vanilla and lemon balm, candied grapefruit, and perhaps dried apricots. With water: more sawdust – nothing abnormal - and banana/lemon. Typical, and rather good. Finish: medium, with a little more sour wood. Not sure you should water this one down. Comments: not bad at all for virgin oak. Not quite some lumberjack whisky!
Nose: Big wood notes with coconut, vanilla and stewed peaches and pears, golden syrup very perfumed and very attractive indeed. Cinnamon and more subtle wood spice.
Palate: Again – big and spicy with star anise, cinnamon heat, chilly, ginger and rich vanilla extract oily and mouth coating. Chewy wood, maple syrup, wood tannins, dry and lively.
Finish :Spicy with chilly, vanilla and coconut.
This is not the most complex single cask GD I’ve had, but this is one yummy whisky. The nose is lovely, and the mouth feel is great, big bold and full of flavour, you will want to pour yourself another dram immediately, as did I. Highly enjoyable, and recommended. It’s quite a different creature than what you’d expect from a 13 year old GD, but worth your while, IMHO. Get one.
This GlenDronach is their second bottling, after a 1991 Ardbeg (!). What Nils (the guy who runs it) also hosted was a fairly epic Springbank tasting with Frank McHardy talking the guests through a bunch of drams. Talking about something legendary! I still regret not being able to attend.
Anyway, Nils was kind enough to give me a sample of his new bottling. I have been a dick about not reviewing it about four months ago. Luckily for you, ‘dear reader’, it’s still available.
This puppy was drawn from a Virgin Oak hogshead, and bottled at cask strength, last May.
The nose is smooth and gentle with (obviously) quite some oak. I get scents of chili peppers and pears. Some ethanol. The curls after shaving a beam of white oak. Some bayleaf and licorice.
The palate is surprisingly sharp and bone dry. Mind, this is not a complaint since I like dry whiskies, and a bit of oomph never hurt anyone either. It’s really demanding and draws your attention when you take a sip. Lots of fresh oak with GlenDronachs heavy spirit backing it up. Something crisp too, some mint maybe. Oak, wood spices, pear, chili and alcohol.
The finish is dry, but not as dry as the palate. Lots of oak and heat from the alcohol. White and red pepper to add to the heat. Quite long and warm.
So, what about this one then? It’s a bit of a two-sided affair. On one hand it’s strong, punchy and dry. I quite like that. I also like the flavors which are not overly similar to the other GlenDronach Virgin Oaks out there. It’s quite different from how I remember our club bottling, for example.
On the other hand, a lot of Virgin Oak GlenDronachs have been released over the last five years or so. That means you lose some originality points there. Having said that, compared to the generally available single casks it’s priced competitively, and it’s something else from the more available sherry casks. Recommended!
Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask: A Compelling Delight Exclusively for The Duchess
In the realm of whisky, there are expressions that stand out for their exclusivity and exceptional character. The Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask, exclusively bottled for The Duchess, is one such whisky that tantalizes the senses and delights the palate. Distilled on January 14, 2003, and bottled on May 30, 2016, this limited edition release showcases the mastery of Glendronach and the discerning taste of The Duchess. Matured in a Virgin Oak Hogshead, only 250 bottles of this exceptional expression were produced, making it a prized possession for whisky enthusiasts.
An Aromatic Symphony:
The Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask envelops the senses with a rich and complex aromatic profile. The nose reveals a plethora of fruitiness, with plums taking the lead. This fruitiness is complemented by a warm embrace of butterscotch and a medley of spices. Cinnamon and hazelnuts dance delicately in the background, adding depth and intrigue to the whisky's olfactory journey.
A Palate of Pleasure:
On the palate, the Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask continues to impress. Butterscotch takes center stage, providing a luscious and indulgent experience. The earlier mentioned cinnamon asserts itself, joined by the delightful presence of ginger, adding a pleasant spiciness to the dram. A touch of sugarcane sweetness lurks in the background, balancing the flavors and enhancing the overall enjoyment.
A Long and Alluring Finish:
The finish of this Glendronach expression is long and dry, unveiling herbal notes that linger tantalizingly on the palate. Hints of laurel and licorice create a captivating finale, leaving a lasting impression and enticing the desire for another sip.
A Perfect Balance:
The Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask is a stunning dram that exemplifies balance in both its nose and mouthfeel. Each element harmoniously melds together, creating a whisky that is greater than the sum of its parts. The overwhelming complexity of flavors, including the beloved ginger spices and licorice, captivates the palate and leaves an indelible mark.
The Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask, bottled exclusively for The Duchess, is a whisky that embodies craftsmanship, exclusivity, and a symphony of flavors. With only 250 bottles available, this expression is a true gem for collectors and connoisseurs alike. Its fruity and spicy profile, alongside the perfect balance and compelling finish, make it an exceptional addition to any whisky collection. The Duchess continues to curate fine and remarkable whiskies, and their collaboration with Glendronach has produced a truly captivating and complex dram. Raise a glass to the Glendronach 13 Years Old Virgin Oak Cask, a whisky that showcases the artistry and passion of both the distillery and The Duchess.