In a secluded spot in Aberdeenshire, nestled in the rolling East Highland hills, you’ll find The GlenDronach Distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries still producing the richly sherried style. In 1826 the distillery was founded and was one of the first licensed distilleries in Scotland. Notable owners include: Walter Scott, who acquired it in 1881 and Charles Grant, son of the founder of the Glenfiddich distillery in 1920.
The distillery was purchased by Teachers and Sons ltd around 1960 who increased the number of stills from two to six. In 1996 the distillery was mothballed and reopened again in 2008 by the BenRiach Distillery Company ltd. The Distillery draws its water from the Dronac burn within the distillery grounds and up until 2001, still has its own floor maltings. GlenDronach converted to steam heating in 2005 and was one of the last to heat the stills by coal fire.
When GlenDronach opened its doors in 1826, many Scottish single malts were matured in Spanish sherry casks. However over the years the ever-increasing rarity and price (they are over 10 times as expensive as standard barrels) has seen a major switch to American Bourbon barrels by the whisky industry. Indeed today there are perhaps only a few distilleries that can truly be classified as ‘sherry maturation’ houses.
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700 ml, 46% abv, Scotland (Highland)In contrast to the traditional, non-peated character of the GlenDronach, this particular whisky has been distilled using peated malted barley. The GlenDronach ‘Peated’ pays homage to the peat historically used to dry the malted barley in the traditional floor matlings during the early days of the distillery. The subtle peated notes in this intriguing expression complement the classic GlenDronach Highland character and the rich sherry notes drawn from the wood.
700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Highland)This superb richly sherried single malt is matured for at least 12 years in a combination of the finest Spanish Pedro Ximinez and Oloroso sherry casks. Non-chill filtered and of natural colour, the GlenDronach 12 year old Original is a sweet, creamy dram.
700 ml, 46% abv, Scotland (Highland)This single malt has been matured and married in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. Non-chill filtered, of natural colour and bottled at 46%. The Hielan encompasses a unique combination of sweet, buttery aromas with spicy, sherry overtones. The Hielan, pronounced ‘High-lan', is a tribute to the dialect spoken in the distillery’s surrounding area in the Scottish Highlands.
"Sweet vanilla, toasted marshmallows and heather honey aromas give way to liquorice, cherry tart and stewed cooking apple with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg on the palate. A spicy, nutmeg-loaded finish is long and lingering and warming"