Review: GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 and Cask Strength Batch 8

Photo courtesy of Glendronach

As the air starts to turn crisp, my urge to grab a bottle of sherried malt grows. Mind you, I enjoy a quality sherried malt year round. But, there’s something about the fruit cake characteristic of a sherry bomb that screams autumn dram. Thankfully, The GlenDronach has just released a couple of new expressions to quench my thirst.

The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993

This single malt has slowly matured in Andalucian casks for a quarter of a century. The Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso casks that make up this bottling were hand selected by GlenDronach Master Blender Rachel Barrie and bottled at 48.2% ABV. These casks were filled and laid to rest in 1993.

The dark, heavy nose carries aromas of dried fruit, dark toffee, sultanas, and cocoa. On the palate, I agree with the whisky’s official tasting notes of “cocoa-dusted coffee and sultana brioche brightened by a twist of baked orange rind and the juiciness of prune oil.” The finish is long and accompanied by hints of espresso roast and raisins.

The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 hit the spot. It’s rich, dark, fruity, and sumptuous – everything I look for in an old sherried malt. I do like the slight brightness offered by the orange note. It plays well against the whisky’s darker nature. Great on it’s own, The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 becomes incredible when paired with a quality Comté. Highly recommended! $350

The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8

The second of the distillery’s recent releases is The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 8. Bottled at 61% ABV, this cask strength whisky has matured in Pedro Ximenez puncheons, quarter casks, and Oloroso sherry butts for at least ten years. The result is a robust, full-bodied whisky.

Hints of slightly burned caramel, toasted oak, and stewed fruit are found on the nose. Taste-wise, chocolate-covered cherries meet sweet malt and a dark honey note. Dried fruits (raisins, prunes) develop on the mid-palate along with a sprinkling of spice. The long, warm finish sees hints of toasted oak, coffee, and orange peel.

The last cask strength sherried whisky I tasted was too young, bright, and vibrant. That’s not a problem here. Though not as complex as its 25-year-old sibling, this cask strength bottling is firing on all cylinders. It delivers fruity, malty notes in a more concentrated form. The cask strength whisky is extremely drinkable at 61%, but a splash of water doesn’t hurt. Lovely stuff, especially given its $95 SRP. By the way, try this whisky with Parmigiano-Reggiano. You won’t regret it.

Thanks to The GlenDronach for the samples, and to Gabriela for the cheese pairing recommendations. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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