A full disclosure on this review; I cannot stand sherry casks for the most part. In particular, I cannot stand Scottish Sherry casks. I cannot tell you why. Something about them screams at me, but, as today we had a Scottish Sherry cask, we shall review a Scotch Sherry cask. I only hope it can live up the hype that has surrounded the whisky.
On the nose I am taken back to my great grand dad’s workshop. He was a keen handy man you see, and worked as a sparky, to a chippy, to a bricky, and all round the trade. I felt a child once again, sat on his work bench and watching as the scents of polished leather, smoked wood and liquid concrete washed over me. The whisky, and I admit myself, revelled in the burning copper that came alongside the sparks of a hot angle grinder. All too soon, my Poppa turned and saw my transfixed expression, and passed me inside the house to my great grandma. There in the kitchen where she worked we saw all manner of spices; cayenne, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and pepper, all atop her street prize winning homemade dark chocolate, sprinkled with walnuts. I can see her now, munching on burnt brown toast and giving the special treat of a musty old Ferrero Rochere, sipping sherry while cackling away.
After just a sip it all comes back, just as powerful and just as vivid. The raisin toast they splurged for, the homemade raspberry doughnut left in the oven, the Christmas cake that soaked for too long in brandy one year and almost burnt the flat down. The sherry comes through exceptionally on the palate, with coffee grinds, burnt orange and a full box of sultanas under the hot sun. I am a small child again, in the midst of toffee, pink sponge fingers, vinegar and roast pumpkin. Sipping the whisky again and again brings back my grandparents, one last time.
The Glendronach 15 Revival. Well, I didn’t quite expect that. All the flavours under the sun, some more than others, but it was a revival certainly. I half expected my old Poppa to yell into my ear that I was drinking it wrong, and should try my hand at beer instead. I cannot fault it for what it is, and while it hasn’t turned me onto Sherried Scotch’s, it did make a dent and a lasting impression. Aye, it was a grand whisky. Nose and taste wise, there was nothing really to fault, a touch long on the spice with some under tones that allowed the sherry to creep in a bit too much, but in the end a fantastic whisky, and brilliant resurgence for Glendoranch.