The latest cask strength sherry bomb from GlenDronach has arrived, a whisky again using Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks to create an unabashed exploration of the power of sherry. As usual, this carries no age statement yet has a clear maturity to it that certainly gives it ample gravitas.
As with virtually all of the GlenDronach Cask Strength releases, the whisky offers an intensely leathery nose, tarry and pushy, with notes of nutty PX sherry, well oxidized, segueing into brown banana and sweeter fruitcake notes. No surprises on the palate except perhaps for the general heat of the whisky. At 58.2% abv it’s got plenty of alcohol backing it up, but it comes across as even more powerful than that. Both peppery and laden with baking spice, the whisky becomes increasingly woody over time, featuring an oily sandalwood quality that bursts with hazelnuts, cloves, and vanilla-scented brown sugar. The punchiness of old wine is unavoidable here throughout, the finish seeing a sweet-and-salty quality that’s impregnated with graphite and gunpowder. Quite fiery, with a denouement of tobacco and cherry pits.
B+ / $105