GlenDronach Peated Port Wood

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GlenDronach distillery was founded in 1826 by a consortium of local investors led by James Allardice.

Allardice was something of an expert salesman and within just two years the GlenDronach spirit was selling well throughout the city of London. After a decade of promise however, Allardice and his distillery fell on hard times. In 1837 a fire tore through the site, destroying everything in its path and leaving its owner with no shortage of financial concerns. By 1842, he was declared bankrupt and his distillery fell silent.

Allardice passed away in 1853, but not before witnessing the rebirth of GlenDronach. Acquired by Walter Scott (formerly of Teaninich distillery) in 1852, the distillery was completely rebuilt and spirit flowed once more through the copper Stills.

In 2008, then owner Pernod Ricard agreed to sell GlenDronach to the BenRiach Distilling Co. A new visitor centre was constructed onsite and the single malt was rebranded and relaunched to critical acclaim. Predominantly matured in ex-sherry casks, the range quickly gained a dedicated following across the world.

Then, in 2016 came news that the company had once again been sold, this time to US-based Brown-Forman, owner of the world famous Jack Daniels brand. It was an announcement that wasn’t altogether welcomed in many quarters, though only time will tell what it will mean for the brand and its reputation.

Though predominantly unpeated, GlenDronach’s distillers have experimented with some peated malt of late which has eventually led to the release of this intriguing Port finished expression. Bottled at 46%, it is available for around £55 – £60 in the UK.

Smell: A heady mix of Berries and Smoke – with a faint Nuttiness, Grape Juice, a touch of Wood and Subtle Campfire Smoke.

Taste: Oak Spice and Chili Powder, Forest Fruits, Plum, Red Wine and a subtle Peat Smoke that lacks the medicinal hit of an Islay.

Value for Money: No real complaints, it would have been nice to see an age statement at this price range but it’s not essential. Your money will buy you an interesting take on the GlenDronach spirit that offers an alternative to most of what has come before from this Highland distillery.

Scores: 88

A fine dram from a consistently good distillery. GlenDronach is usually found unpeated with a strong sherry influence, but here we see a slightly different approach while retaining the standards of quality that we have come to expect.

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