Whisky Review – Glendronach Peated @glendronach

Glendronach Peated

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£36.95 from The Whisky Exchange

  


The official notes read:

The most unusual expression of the trio is the new GlenDronach Peated which is just astonishing. In contrast to the traditional, non-peated character of The GlenDronach, this particular whisky has, unusually, been distilled using peated malted barley. Vivid harvest gold in colour and bottled at 46%, it was first matured in bourbon casks followed by a second period of maturation in the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

The result is a superb “first” for GlenDronach – a sensational and beautifully balanced smoky/fruity dram bursting with character and flavour. The delicate peat influence provides a smouldering charred wood character filled with freshly ground barley and hints of vanilla toffee, while elsewhere on the nose a delightful aroma of ripe gooseberries dusted with cinnamon sugar combines with a contrasting crisp citrus twist.

On the palate, vibrant oak spices and floral heather honey develop to rosehips and barley sugars, all warmed by a touch of white pepper. Subtle peat notes complement the palate by giving a delicate depth and dryness of glowing campfire embers.

The finish is memorable; a unique marriage of crisp fruit and barley-laden Highland characteristics is surrounded by gentle peat smoke, intriguingly reminiscent of heather burning in the distant glens. Master Distiller Billy Walker said simply: “It is absolutely phenomenal.”

Sounds interesting, personally I love my Glendronach sherried to the max. Let’s see what a smoky and predominantly bourbon matured Glendronach is like.

Nose. 

On first pour we get a light, floral, heather honey aroma, surrounded by gentle heather smoke. This quickly blooms and intensifies, becoming a leaf loaded bonfire. More heather and some mossy damp countryside. There is sweetness in the background, some toffee sauce coated vanilla ice cream, the smoke now becoming more akin to pipe tobacco. There are some ripe apples now, brambles, dry earth, some salty air, and a wee hint of shellfish. This really is a delightful nose, I could sniff it forever, it’s not too harsh, or mild, it’s just right! With more time some medicinal notes come through. 

Palate. 

Quite a tart, sour apple arrival, quickly becoming sweet and thick, homemade cream heavy vanilla ice cream. The mouthfeel is very coating and oily. Development continues into this apple tart and cream nature, with pastry notes filling the senses. Some fizziness comes forward during the development, almost appletiser like. Some gentle moss and earthiness. Rich honey rounds off the experience. 

Finish. 

The fizziness continues into the medium length finish, with the smoky heather and moss notes taking ahold towards the very end. Some drier salty notes round things off. 

Adding water. 

Adding a splash of water gives more countryside notes, deeper honey, some woodland forest notes of pine and some autumnal fruits. The palate becomes immediately more fruity, with the fizziness toned down allowing more fruitiness in a jam form. The smokiness on the finish is enhanced and almost feels like smoking a menthol cigarette! Dry earthy moss and hay concludes with some mineral chalky notes lingering. This dram definitely benefits from a small drop of water. 

Conclusion. 

This is quite a remarkable dram. I would not put this as Glendronach in a blind tasting. It has a lot of Islay about it. There is no question about it this is a very well put together whisky, one that I would be very happy about having in my glass on any given night. It has enough heather and honey to suite warmer weather/climates as it does the smokiness to suit Autumn and winter. Bloody fine stuff. 

Many thanks to Glendronach for the review sample

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