Scotch Whisky Review #335: Glendronach State of New Hampshire Single Cask 19 Year Pedro Ximénez Sherry (1995)
Age: 19 Year. Distilled July 21st, 1995. Bottled in October of 2014.
ABV: 52.9%. Cask Strength.
Cask Type: PX Sherry Puncheons.
Price: Sample courtesy of /u/unbreakablesausage.
Color: 1.9, Brown Sherry. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.
Nose: Nose starts of very heavy and dense. There’s some tobacco and spices. A bit of something herbal and some super dark sweet thing that is similar to molasses but not quite also are present. With water, things lighten up and some fruitier notes pop up. There’s a dark berry mix with a lot of blackberries. A dash of raisin comes through as well.
Palate: At full strength, it’s quite closed off. There’s a touch of heat, but not unbearable amounts. The malt feels unbelievably heavy on the tongue and there’s not a ton of flavor coming off of it. With a bit of water though, it does open up super nicely. Dried fruits galore here. Raisins are the biggest component and it tastes like there’s almost a rum raisin flavored syrup coming through. Craisins also make an appearance for a hit of tartness here and there. Some cocoa dust and a bit of herbal mix follow the fruits and lead this down an earthier path. Tobacco, dark earthy notes and clove dominate the back end. Near the bottom of the glass, I started to get toffee and dalgona/달고나 (of Squid Game fame!) that I hadn’t gotten earlier.
Finish: Very long. The earthiness that dominated the back end of the palate continues on here. Tobacco and clove are strong notes here. There’s a strange gasiness that I can’t put my finger on. Again, at bottom of the glass comes notes of dalgona that hadn’t been there before.
Conclusion: If anyone needs convincing that sometimes adding water to whisky can make it absolutely shine, they probably should be handed a glass of this. At full strength, this Glendronach is incredibly closed off and honestly would have been an absolute disappointment if things had ended that way. Thankfully, a splash of water (about half a teaspoon or so is what I ended up using) really makes this shine. There’s so much going on in this whisky with layers of flavor on top of one another and yet it comes across as a strong and cohesive package. The fruitier notes of blackberries, raisins, and craisins just go along so well with the earthier notes of tobacco and clove. The herbal notes that come in here and there give this a little bit of a lift with some freshness and that sweeter dalgona note that came out late really helped make sure this stayed interesting the whole way through. Absolutely delicious.
Final Score: 90.
Scotch Whisky Review #335, Speyside Review #125, Whisky Network Review #480
- 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.