Glendronach 13 Year Single Cask Port Pipe (2004)

Scotch Whiskey Review #168: Glendronach 13 Year Single Cask Port Pipe (2004)

Distillery: Glendronach

Region: Speyside

Price: $18 for a 2 oz sample

Cask Type: ex-Port pipe

Cask Number: 3342

ABV: 55.4%

Age: 13 Year. Distilled May 11th, 2004. Bottled in 2017.

Color: 1.7, Burnt Umber. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered

Nose: Lots of fruit jams. I picked out strawberry jams and fig jam but there are others as well. Some cherries follow afterwards in the form of maraschino, luxardo, and dark-red ones.

Palate: It starts off with a bit of heat and that’s not just from the alcohol. There are spices in the form of nutmeg, ground pepper, and chili peppers. Once the heat subsides a bit, you get some layers of fruit. There is fig jam, currant jam, dried figs, and dried persimmons. But the heat doesn’t stay away for long, it comes back with some of that dark cherry. I’ve never had one before but I’d imagine a chili-cherry compote would taste a lot like what it does towards the end.

Finish: Medium to short in length. It’s slightly drying. The chili-cherry compote continues on here and lingers for bit.

Conclusion: Glendronach might just be the best around in playing with sherry casks but when I saw this whisky, I wondered how well that experience would translate to trying a port cask. It turns out, they did a fairly good job. There’s lovely layers of complexity all throughout with various fruity elements along with spices. That chili-cherry compote note really stands out and it’s not one I’ll forget anytime soon. However, for me, the flavors are slightly out of balance. There’s too much spice and adding water didn’t do enough to temper that. It’s still a beautifully crafted whisky and one I’d recommend for anyone to try. But would I buy a bottle? Probably not, which is a bit of a shame since this whisky and I share a birthday.

Final Score: 82.

Scotch Whisky Review #168, Speyside Review #69, Whisky Network Review #230

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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