About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

GLENDRONACH 8YO 'HIELAN' - DISTILLERY BOTTLING

Glendronach has pretty much assumed the throne of sherried whisky from the (once) all dominant player in that field, Macallan... Glendronach has also on more than one occasion been referred to as 'The New Macallan' - at least in the whisky anorak community, online...

But can Glendronach keep up with the success?
Won't they also (soon/already) reach the point when demand exceeds supply?

Well, there's certainly small signs of it... one of them being the the rumour that the 15yo Revival is being discontinued and once that rumour was out, prices started started going up and prominent online whisky shops has limited the expression to 1 bottle per customer...

Now the discontinuation of the 15yo could very well have something to do with the fact that the distillery wasn't producing between 1996-2002 and other rumours do also put it back as a part of the standard range in 3 years time.
Will it happen? We'll just have to wait and see, I guess...

Meanwhile, Glendronach has released a younger expression called 'Hieland' and I must admit, I was thinking 'Oh no' when I first saw it... but then I remembered some rather tasty younger Glendronach, actually around the 8 year mark, served directly from the casks on a couple of my visits to the distillery and thought that this just might work - especially when I found out it had some sherry casks in the mix...

So does the 'Hielan' work? read on...

Courtyard display casks, April 30th 2011 © The Malt Desk

Glendronach 8yo (2015) 'Hielan' 46%, ex-bourbon & sherry casks, Distillery bottling

Colour is light gold

Nose:
Very crisp barley notes, lots of malt and grist and hints of yeast.
Also in there are vanilla, a musty dunnage style note, some light toffee and spice and notes of overripe citrus fruits

Taste:
Quite creamy on arrival with yellow raisins and tangerines, Walker's Ginger shortbread and short floral burst and a little licorice before lots of juicy malt takes over - enough to keep the finish going for quite a while for such a young malt.

Before it crosses the finish line it does deliver a little dryness, which is IMO, not quite in tune with the rest...

This one goes a bit of the way with its maltiness, but instead of sweet it goes drying. This can be remedied with a little water, though

I still like this - and especially at €35! Its not overly complex, but what it does, it does well. I'm suspecting there's quite a few ex-bourbon casks in play here, but there's no hiding the sherry influence even though its a light one - for that the sweetness mid palate is just too obvious.
I also suspect some casks older than 8 years to be in play here.


Finally, a pad on the back to Glendronach for slapping an age statement on this. They could maybe have gotten away with not doing so, but given the popularity of the their 'Octarine'-expression they know that people would embrace this one too... and most importantly - the price is right!

84/100!

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