Nose: Rich and thick. Strong caramel, big raisin, dates, prunes, plums, apricots, dried mango, banana bread, baking spices, marzipan, and musty oak. Some lighter notes of barley, honey, butter, pastry, and grass come out after some time.
Palate: Reasonably thick mouthfeel. Arrives on heavy, rich stewed fruits. Roasted caramel, roasted nuts, dates, dark berries, Christmas cake, dark rum, black grapes, coffee, molasses, and earth.
Finish: Medium in length and warming, with a slightly charred character coming forward. More of those juicy dates, pistachios, caramel, cherry, charred wood, earth, moss, tobacco, black grapes, rooibos tea, and some barley.
Thoughts: Very intense sherry. From nose to finish we’ve got big dates and heavy stewed fruits. Although it’s not a cask strength release, I want to call this a sherry bomb. It certainly drinks like one. I suspect a good amount of first-fill casks were used. Dark sherry dominates every aspect of this whisky.
This is not one of Glendronach’s more accessible offerings. It doesn’t share the casual, clean complexity of the 15 year old. Instead, this is murkier, bolder, and more concentrated. After 16 years in Oloroso casks, the sherry has overwhelmed any delicacy or nuance from the base spirit. I find myself missing some of the lighter, cleaner notes you find in the core range. Personally speaking, I need to be in the right mood for this one. But if the mood fits, this is lovely. A heavy, dark, brooding addition to the GlenDronach portfolio. Quite collectible, too.