GlenDronach distillery was founded in 1826 by a group of local farmers led by charismatic entrepreneur James Allardice. Allardice was an astute businessman who’s promotional skills have become the stuff of legend.
Shortly after the distillery started to produce spirit, Allardice made his way to Edinburgh to drum up some business, taking a cask of whisky with him. He proceeded to tout his product around the bars and hostelries of the capital city but was met with little success. Disheartened, he was about to turn in for the night when he was met by two of the cities’ working girls, who asked him for a drink. Never one to miss an opportunity, Allardice tempted the two ladies back to his lodgings on the promise of more whisky than they could drink. The next day, the women returned to demand more of the same and this time, they brought their friends. Allardice was due to return home that day but agreed to leave the cask with his new acquaintances to distribute as they saw fit. It would seem that Edinburgh’s working girls had quite the time of it that day and their revelry did not go unnoticed. Before long, talk of Allardice’s whisky had spread like wildfire through the city streets. Within the year, GlenDronach was selling in London.
The distilleries early success was not to last unfortunately and a tragic fire almost completely destroyed the place in 1837. James Allardice was declared bankrupt shortly afterwards. In the years that followed, GlenDronach passed from one owner to the next, even coming under government control for a short time during the Great War.
2008 would see the start of a bright new era as GlenDronach became part of the BenRiach Distillery Co. Since then, thedistillery has been producing what can only be described as some of the finest single malts on the planet. In 2016, the BenRiach Co. (and GlenDronach with it) was acquired by American giant Brown Foreman. It’s still too early to tell if this will affect the quality of the output.
The Scores: About the Scoring…
Smell: 18 / 20. Slightly Burnt Toffee, Honey and Shortbread with Vanilla, a touch of Heather and a generous load of Sherry.
Taste: 18.5 / 20. Honey and Vanilla here as well, with Sherry, Apple and some warming Spice.
Value for Money: 8 / 10. Should be available for somewhere between £35 and £40.
Overall: 44.5 / 50. All together a very fine dram and while you may find a better GlenDronach on the market, you won’t get it for this price. Quite simply a great dram for the price.
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