Whisky Focus - The GlenDronach Port Wood Review

The GlenDronach Port Wood Review

14th June 2019
Review of The GlenDronach Port Wood, matured in the distillery’s signature Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks for 7 years, this was then followed by a second maturation period of 3 years in port pipes.

The GlenDronach Port WoodAfter a quick glance at the bottle and tube of the new GlenDronach Port Wood you could easily assume that this is a no age statement port pipe matured whisky but when you take a closer look it is something a little different.

The GlenDronach Port Wood is actually a 10 Year Old whisky although there is no bold headline age statement on the bottle, it simply states in the smaller print "MATURED FOR TEN YEARS".

As far as the bold "Port Wood" headline on the bottle goes, this is not the full story, the whisky has been matured in the distillery’s signature Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks for 7 years, this was then followed by a second maturation period of 3 years in port pipes from the Douro Valley of Portugal.

They could have called it 3 Wood, Triple Wood or even Port Wood Finish, I can only assume before tasting it myself that the final 3 years it spent maturing in the port pipe has had quite an impact for the whisky to have been launched carrying the Port Wood headline name. I will know in just a minute when I pour some.

Master Blender, Dr Rachel Barrie said: "The GlenDronach means ‘valley of the brambles’ in old Scots Gaelic. We are delighted to celebrate this heritage with a Portuguese twist on our revered Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry cask maturation, which uses the finest Spanish oak.

"This extra maturation in Port casks imparts a deep cherry wood colour and enriches the layers of fruit in The GlenDronach, with delightful waves of Victoria plum, brambles and sandalwood on the nose. Layers upon layers of rich fruit flavour open up on the palate with notes of roasted apple crumble and gingerbread, developing into baked orange and black cherry back-notes."

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Colour: I rarely mention colour but as it is naturally coloured I thought that I would and I can say that the whisky is a distinctive rose gold colour, just the colour you would expect a port pipe matured whisky to be.

Nose: Subtle vanilla toffee, sugared plum, a touch of candied sweetness, fruity and floral, a little orange blossom and raisin.

Taste: Chewy toffee, apple and raisiny fruitiness, delicate vanilla oakiness and a lovely touch of ginger, some late slightly zesty orange.

Finish: Longish with oak spice, orange peel, still a touch of ginger, it all slowly fades into a gentle dry nutty oakiness.

Comment: It has a slightly youngish feel to it. With only seven years in the sherry casks the GlenDronach's sherried fruitiness falls a little short or perhaps those sherry casks were a little spent, maybe this is why the port wood takes the headline billing although the three years in the port pipes hasn't quite made up for the sherry casks short comings. Don't get me wrong it is an enjoyable dram but falls a little short of the GlenDronach's high standards and it is a big ask at £60 for this 10 year old when you consider the quality of the whisky available in the GlenDronach whisky range for the same money.

SMW Score 80/100

The GlenDronach Port Wood is bottled at 46% ABV, non chill filtered and of natural colour, it has an RRP of £60 and will soon be available from specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

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