Sherry is Glendronach’s game. The home of some truly spectacular sherry bombs, sharing the accolades with the likes of Aberlour, Glenfarclas and The Macallan. Up until recently their entire core range was exclusively sherry matured, with only a few special editions mixing things up.
Glendronach Peated is a fairly new expression that seems to be getting frequent releases, and now seems to be part of the regular stable. It begins with bourbon casks containing a small batch of peated whisky run through Glendronach’s stills, and then transferred to PX and Oloroso casks for an unspecified amount of time. Meaning we’re right in the middle of “peat and sherry” territory. A fiercely difficult segment to play in, not only due to the difficulty in merging those two flavour profiles, but also given the competition – Lagavulin and Ardbeg Oogie, specifically.
This one is bottled at a healthy 46% (without an age statement) and of course is natural colour and non-chill filtered. Ready, set, go!
Fairly light, with a ruby tinge.
Utterly fantastic. My preference when it comes to peat is having it tempered by some big cask influence – and I’m glad to say the sherry is still very much on display here in true Glendronach style!
Up front I get some Lagavulin vibes. The peat is rich and distinct – braai smoke rather than grassy or floral. The cherry sweetness of the sherry is perfectly balanced with the peat, with none of that awkward, nauseating interplay between the two tricky flavours (cough, Laphroaig PX). Expertly blended.
A little of the pineapple I get on the Glendronach 18. Somewhat buttery. A faint maple syrup. Simple overall, but everything it does is absolutely spot on.
Yes. Yes yes yes!
The peat is dominant, but not super heavy – I’d call this “moderately” peated. Meaty as heck. You get the most Christmas mince-pie stuff going on with the sherry: Raisins, glazed orange. Apricots. Stewed fruit. Cinnamon. Some lemon zest. Apples. There’s a little coriander at the back, and a thick, buttery oily texture on the palate. Wowza!
Honestly, it’s really difficult to describe just how tightly everything is integrated, how potent the flavour packed into each cubic milliliter is. It’s a total flavour powerhouse. Bottled at the perfect strength – just dancing that Goldilocks line between “hot” and “just right”.
Actually… fairly short, all thing’s considered. You’re left with this wine-gum, jelly-baby sweetness and a smokey bacon on the palate. Flavours are good, but wishing the ride was a little longer.
Wow. I came back to my bottle of Glendronach Peated after a little hiatus, and having recently been on a peat binge in the form of my Talisker reviews (and Port Charlotte) I can happily say that Glendronach Peated is one of the best peat-and-sherry combos that money can buy. Perhaps the only affordable, viable option.
It’s a little more punchy than the average bottle of Lagavulin 16. And is likely more exciting than (gets ready to dodge tomatoes) Ardbeg Uigeadail, long considered the king of the hill. Absolutely do not let its reasonable price, missing age statement or lack of “peat creditbility” deter you from giving this one a try – Glendronach really has beaten the best at their own game!