Whisky Review: The GlendDronach Grandeur Batch 11

, | January 27, 2023

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

The GlenDronach, like many Scottish distilleries, has seen its ups and downs in its nearly 200 years. The distillery, founded in 1826, was one of the first licensed distilleries in Scotland. Distillery workers and their families lived on-site at the Glen House, which is supposedly haunted by a Spanish lady who traveled over in a sherry cask— hopefully not the cask to age the first batch of GlenDronach single malt.

Before 1996, when the distillery was mothballed, it changed ownership many times. The GlenDronach distillery laid dormant for six years until it went into full production again in 2002. The distillery continued changing ownership from Allied Distillers to Chivas Brothers to BenRiach until finally landing at Brown-Forman in 2016.

Dr. Rachel Barrie became the caretaker and Master Blender for GlenDronach in 2017. When she arrived on the distillery grounds she found the opportunity to build on GlenDronach’s legacy and inventory of whisky aged in the finest sherry casks. A small number of Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks showed exceptional character, which Dr. Barrie recently chose for the eleventh batch of the higher end The GlenDronach Grandeur.

She describes the effects each cask has on the whisky, “an Oloroso cask will bring out the robust notes and also the full-bodied depth. PX casks tend to bring out more of the fruit and the spice, and also an elegance, as well, because it’s very sweet, but also very elegant.”

The Grandeur is an annual high-end release, a series made up of rare and well-aged single malt. GlenDronach first launched The Grandeur with a 31-year-old whisky in 2010. Like other batches in the series, Batch 11 has a limited bottle run, with 3,181 available and costs surprisingly less than a Macallan 25-year-old. 

Glendronach Grandeur Batch 11 review

Glendronach Grandeur Batch 11 (image via The GlenDronach)

Tasting Notes: The GlendDronach Grandeur Batch 11

Vital Stats: 48.9% ABV. 28-year-old Highland single malt blend of rare Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks. 750ml $800.

Appearance: Old oak

Nose: A layer of baby powder settles over the dram. Candied orange peel and pink bubblegum lend to sugary sweetness before segueing to a more refined, richer nose. The sherry casks have deeply affected the whisky. Amaro-soaked raisin and fig jam are decadent. Roasted almond toffee mingles with clove and nutmeg for a warm confectionary delight. To my surprise is a touch of kola nut on the finish. 

Palate: The mouthfeel is dry and hot— the Spanish oak is noticeable but it does not make for bland flavor. Dried leather and cigar mingle wonderfully together, but lend to a tannic finish. Fig with a little honey provides some sweetness, yet the fruitiness comes from black cherry. Overall, the whisky is peppery and sooty.

Whisky Review: The GlendDronach Grandeur Batch 11


The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 11 is a fine whisky. Dr. Barrie’s talents in blending rare, old whiskies are masterful. I prefer the nose to the palate only because the flavors are short-lived until the finish. I would love for some of the fig and cherry to linger longer on the tongue to balance the cigar and leather.

User Review
4.25 (4 votes)


Courtney Kristjana

Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...