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 his whisky along 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 had decided to turn in for the night when he was met by two of the cities’ 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 selling in London.


The distilleries early success was not to last unfortunately as a tragic fire almost completely destroyed the site in 1837, leaving James Allardice to be declared bankrupt shortly afterwards. In the years that followed, GlenDronach passed down from one owner to the next, even coming under government control for a short time during the Great 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 gain respect across the world for its well-aged, sherry-heavy whisky. Then, in 2016, the announcement came 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 load 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: 44.5 / 50. About the scores…

All together a very fine dram and while you may find a better GlenDronach on the market, it will come at a price. Quite simply this is a great dram at a great price.

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