GlenDronach 12 Year Old

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GlenDronach distillery was founded in 1826 by a group of local farmers led by the charismatic entrepreneur James Allardice. An astute businessman, Allardice’s promotional skills have become the stuff of legend…

Shortly after the distillery began to produce spirit, Allardice made his way to Edinburgh to try 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 in the way of success. Disheartened, he decided to turn in for the night when he was met by two of the city’s working girls, who asked him to buy them 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. A day later, 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 on sale in most bars in London.

The distillery’s early success was not to last sadly, as fire almost completely destroyed the site in 1837 and Allardice would be 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 First World War.

In 2008 a new era began as the distillery was taken over by the BenRiach Distillery Co. led by master blender Billy Walker. Under his guidance the GlenDronach began to earn respect across the world for its well-aged, sherry matured whisky.

In 2016 came the surprising announcement that the company was to be sold to Brown Forman, owner of Jack Daniels. What this will mean for the GlenDronach going forward is a little too early to tell but it is sure to be a fascinating journey in any case…

Smell: Burnt Toffee, Honey and Shortbread with Vanilla, a touch of Heather and a generous dollop of Sherry.

Taste: Honey and Vanilla here as well, with Sherry, Apple and some warming Spice.

Value for Money: Should be available for somewhere between £35 and £40.

Score: 86

All together a very fine dram and while you can certainly find a better GlenDronach on the market, it will come at a price. A great dram at a great price.

*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.


For more on the GlenDronach…


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