Anchor Distilling, which earlier this year teamed up with Scotland’s BenRiach distillery to import to the U.S. some of the latter’s whisky, is heading overseas again to assist GlenDronach Distillery, nestled in Scotland’s rolling East Highland hills in secluded Aberdeenshire, in launching two new expressions here. These are the GlenDronach 15 Year Old Tawny Port Wood Finish and The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 2.
For the first offering, the 15 Year Old Tawny Port Wood Finish, GlenDronach, normally known for using sherry casks to mature its whiskies, decided to experiment with a few different types of wood to see how they influence the Scotch. They seem like at first glance to have produced an interesting result.
The 15-year-old was bottled at 46% ABV in a 750 ml offering that prices for around $80. It was initially matured in European oak and “thereafter finished in a very small batch of Tawny Port barrels. The resulting spirit features a nose of stewed damsons and plum conserve, raisins, sultanas and fine grand cru chocolate; on the palate, flavors of fruit shortcake drenched in vanilla custard prevail, complemented by a scattering of dried figs, dates and wild strawberries; smooth tannins and light acidity highlight a long finish.”
As for the Cask Strength Batch 2 offering, it comes in at between 50 and 60 percent ABV in a 750 ml bottle and costs about $150. It was matured “in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. On the nose, wonderful, rich aromas of honey-drenched raisins and sultanas, candied ginger and orange peel, spiced with a delicate note of warm oak; on the palate, this whisky showcases a perfectly balanced traditional sherry character with an explosion of chocolate-coated raisins and zest of orange, mellowed with sweet, warm oak spices and hints of soft toffee and gentle sugared almonds.”
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...