We tasted it for the very first time in Rome, and it was only a lonesome cask sample, waiting for a new family to live with; we liked it, a a lot actually, but then we almost forgot it, lost in our chaotic daily life… And then, in November, finally we had a bottle in our hands: we opened it, we poured some drams… and all the magic came back. We’re talking about the ‘Blogger’s GlenDronach’, selected by a panel of the most precious (ehm…) Italian whisky bloggers, with the help of Max Righi and Maurizio Cagnolati – names and souls behind Silver Seal and Beija-Flor. So now let’s see if we chose a good cask, in the end: it’s a single cask (#35) distilled on 15 January 1993 (a legendary day for GlenDronach, it is believed), ex-Oloroso Sherry first fill, matured for 21 years and bottled just a few weeks ago.
N: miracle! Where’s alcohol? Maybe it went away, showing some respect to the complexity of this nose… It displays a gorgeous aromatic richness, that almost catches your throat with gluttony… First impact is with dark chocolate (or dark cremino, if you know it…), then a great mix of red fruit, juicy and fresh, but also: spirited cherries! Another image that comes to our mind is forest fruits with Port. Black prunes, fresh and juicy, again fresh ripe figs. There is also a scathing side, with burnt caramel, creme brulée. Aniseed, rhubarb, black tea, damp wood, a bit of nutmeg and beeswax: deep notes, perfectly integrated in this profile. Stunning. Even some cigar, maybe?
P: again the absence of alcohol is impressive, leaving all the space to a compact and hyper-intense body. Gorgeous, again. The two souls we found on the nose (fresh fruity juicy vs scathing spicy tannin) go ahead, here perfectly intertwined. So chocolate and eucalypt, red fruit (super juicy!) and rhubarb, orange and tamarind. The tannins are more herbal, green, but without ever getting to be too much. That spicy and peppery note of cigar brings us towards the finish. It’s not mandatory, but if you want to do yourself a favour and scream of pure joy, add some water: the tannin/herbal side gets behind the curtains, and the stage is fully occupied by an explosive sweetness, really fragorous (strawberry jam? red fruits cake?).
F: sooo long, opened by cigar smoke; fresh fruit stands still, then dark chocolate and some biscuits, with an unexpected malty note.
We Italian Whisky Bloggers are a bunch of louts, it is known, but for sure we can recognize a nice malt when we taste one – and in this case, we definetely did, even if all the four samples we tasted were of very high quality. But let’s be honest: a GlenDronach of this age, to fully seduce us, must be exactly like this: perfectly balanced between the herbal/bitter and the juicy/fruity sides; and we’ll give an extra point because the evolution with water is simply stunning, opening to a lovely sweetness. So the vote will be 94/100 – perfect.
Recommended soundtrack: Keith Jarrett – Over the rainbow