Glendronach 15 Revival

Distillery: Glendronach
Bottled: 2009
Age: 15 years old
ABV: 46%
Cask: Oloroso Sherry
More Info: WhiskyBase

Glendronach’s got a great name in whisky these days for being a superb sherried dram. Having sampled a couple at various tasting events, I can definitely see what people are making a fuss of.

The distillery was rebooted (along with Glenglaussaugh) by Benriach in 2008. As a result, you’ll tend to see all three whiskies together at festivals.

Tonight I’m tasting the Revival, a flagship dram to mark the reboot. Aged a full fifteen years in Oloroso sherry, this is a dram for people who like a sherry bomb.

Nose: Sticky figs and dates, tea leaves, dry Summer hay, dusty wood, rich barley cereal, cumin, and a touch of mineral saltiness.

Palate: Luscious mouth-coating sherry with barbecued banana, orange boiled sweets, red grapes, molasses and sultanas.

Finish: Slightly drying with toasted oak, black pepper and a tingling tobacco smokiness.

Mmmm. The mild smokiness really works for this dram. It’s like someone lit a Cuban, dipped it in a glass of Oloroso, and somehow created a whisky.

Fiercely drinkable, this.

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Aberfeldy 1999 “Snuffed Candle” (Wemyss Malts)

Distillery: Aberfeldy
Bottled: 2014, Distilled: 1999
Bottler: Wemyss Malts
ABV: 46%
Cask: Hogshead
More Info: WhiskyBase

Oh I do love Wemyss. The single cask bottlings they’ve put together lately have been very impressive on the whole, as well as being really well priced. I’ve seen them at a few whisky events now, and you can find them on a lot of the usual whisky websites.

Oh, and their nosing panel’s chaired by Charlie Maclean. You know, the chap in the kilt who’s in The Angels’ Share. He decides what the title on the bottle’s going to be, so all the Wemyss single cask releases have names like “Rockpool”, “Peaches and Cream”, “Dark Treacle Fondant”.

This here be an Aberfeldy, and it’s titled “Snuffed Candle”. One of the Dewars’ distilleries, you’re starting to see more and more whisky from this one appearing on the market rather than going into blended malt, which is always good to see.

Let’s try it out.

Nose: Sherbet candy, lavender, french fondant fancy, green apple skin.

Palate: Brittle candy, vanilla, orange peel, lemon juice, black pepper and gentle, tangy peat smoke.

Finish: Tingly with a touch of oak.

Not sure about snuffed candle. I get a nice smoky tingle on the palate but not much soot or sulphur. For me this is mostly about sweetshop candy notes, and very pleasant they are too.

If lightly peated, candylicious Highland malt is your thing then this’ll pique your interest big time.

Clynelish 1997 (Berry Bros)

Distillery: Clynelish
Bottled: 2010, Distilled: 1997
Age: 12 years old
Bottler: Berry Brothers & Rudd
ABV: 56.8%
Cask: American Oak
More Info: WhiskyBase

Clynelish is a Diageo-run distillery in the coastal village of Brora in the Northern Highlands built to replace the now infamous Brora distillery.

Somewhat cheaper than the legendary silent stills of Brora, the Clynelish has proved very popular with indy bottlers and the vast majority of bottlings in the wild are not official bottlings. Which is a shame, not least because there’s a picture of an angry cat on the label…

Nose: Raisin vanilla fudge, egg custard, nutmeg, pebble beach, cedar wood shavings.

Palate: Starts sweet with fragrant pear, and honeydew melon with a slab of salted Scottish tablet. Sweetness gives way to spices with cinnamon, sweet chilli peppers and cloves.

Finish: Waxy, with a peppery tang.

Lovely Highland profile this. Not as powerful as Brora – more mild, sweet pussycat than a fierce predator.