Moss Island Drams: The GlenDronach Original 12-Year

In honor of National Scotch Day (I know, EVERY day is National Scotch Day), and for my brother-in-law David, who introduced me to this Scotch and so many more.

GlenDronach occupies nine slots in 1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die, my whisky porn bible. The distillery’s sweet spot is rich, heavily sherried malts. David picked this one up, knowing my love of The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve, and having read a cross-reference between the two. I’m happy to report, if you like one of the above…

Moss Island DramThe GlenDronach Original 12-Year is a Speyside malt, heavier than the standard. Its entire aging is done in sherry casks (according to my bible, the BenRiach company, which owns GlenDronach, has budgeted $7.9 million to purchase ex-sherry casks.)

In the glass, the deep amber color is almost decadent.  The nose is intense – dried fruit, but also caramelized sugar.  First sip is oily and rich, sweet and smooth on the palate, the sherry present but nicely balanced by spice (nutmeg?)  The finish is medium-length, in two parts: slightly bitter at first, followed by a lingering sweetness that brings things full circle.

Although not quite inexpensive ($45-$55), this Scotch tastes like it costs much more. Worth seeking out, especially for those who enjoy a classic Speyside profile like The Macallan or The Glenlivet, but want to get a little bolder.