Whisky Review – Glendronach 14 Year Old Virgin Oak @Glendronach

Glendronach 14 Year Old Virgin Oak Finish

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£49.95 from Master of Malt 

This Glendronach 14 Year Old Virgin Oak finish is a re-release of their popular, critically-acclaimed expression first released in 2010. I haven’t tried the original release, but am excited to try something a little bit different from Glendronach. Now they are one of my favourite distilleries, and I’m a big fan of their sherried style, so I am a little bit concerned of what I will find. Let’s see. 


On first pour there is a lot of oak. School pencil case, shavings from old pencils still in the corners. The fruits are hidden away, but present. A little cask charring is also in the first sniffs. Will let it sit. The oak has settled to the background nicely, with summery fruits taking the fore. Lots of melon, apricot and some peach Melba ice cream. Vanilla is in there as well, not as big as you would expect, but it’s nicely complimentary. 


Wow, that’s quite a fruit bomb on the palate. Straight from the off there is a bunch of melon rich fruit salad, lots of apples, oranges and pear, very juicy, big and brash. These flavours go on and on into the development, a little oak comes in with some rich vanilla. Throughout all of these big flavours, there is a background herbal note running through, something slightly aniseed, slightly green. 


The herbal note becomes more apparent in the medium to long length finish, liquorice, some dry ginger and the return of the new oak, a little like chewing the end of a new pencil. 

Adding water. 

A small splash added. The nose is still quite a fruity number, with a touch of water the oak has returned slightly, giving a dusty wood room effect. The palate is still immense, loads of fruit, the water has reduced the alcohol heat allowing a deeper fruit to vanilla experience, delicious. The finish is less herbal, fruitier and warming to the chest. 


This is very different to the core Glendronach experience. It’s a great example of how different oak maturation can make a great difference on the overall experience of a distilleries spirit. Personally, I prefer the sherried Glendronach, but this is still a great whisky full of big fruity flavours and I would never turn a dram of it away. 

Many thanks to Glendronach for the review sample