Review: The Glendronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage

Photo courtesy of The Glendronach

I was exposed to The Glendronach rather recently. Before that wonderful introduction, the big sherry bombs I was familiar with were The Macallan and Aberlour. What struck me about The Glendronach was the richness I didn’t quite find in the aforementioned brands. Not to take anything away from them, but Glendronach fit my taste like a glove.

The distillery’s latest is a very limited edition tied to release of the upcoming film in the The Kingsman series. Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie, in collaboration with film Director Matthew Vaughn, created this LOVELY malt. It’s a 29-year-old single malt, vintage 1989, matured in Oloroso sherry casks. Compromised of only six casks, the whiskey then saw a short maturation in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. It’s bottled at 50.1% abv and available for at a suggested price of $1,299.

I don’t generally cover color on this blog, especially since so many producers add caramel coloring. The Glendronach doesn’t add any color to their whisky. Compared to The Glendronach 12, this Kingsman Edition is several shades deeper and darker.

The Glendronach 12 (right) and The Glendronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage (left)

The nose is chockfull of raisin, dried fruit, dark toffee, and tobacco. Aromatic wood spice develops after a few minutes in the glass. It’s quite lovely. On the palate, candied ginger and toffee provide a bold but controlled entry. Plum, dried fruits, and raisin-y notes build more layers on this complex whisky. The back palate sees hints of baking spice, cigar box, and slightly astringent old oak. The finish is long with lingering notes of burnt orange peel, spice, and dark fruits.

Autumn literally just began as this post goes live, and this release couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Given it’s complexity, The Glendronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage is a whisky you’ll want to block off an hour to savor. This has landed a spot as my favorite whiskies of 2020. It’s just that damn good.

Thanks to The Glendronach for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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