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Whisky Reviews

Glendronach 1990, 22 Year Old, Silver Seal, 52.1% ABV




Distillery: Glendronach

Region: Highland

Price: ~40USD/30ml dram

Cask Type: Dark sherry, but not fill status and sherry type not disclosed.

ABV: 52.1%

Chill-filtered: No

Color: 1.6, mahogany (natural colour)

Drammed after 15 minutes in air, out of a snifter glass, from an open bottle with about 40% left.

Nose: Date pudding, star anise, guava, feijoa, slightest hint of gunpowder. Water brings out the feijoa and date pudding more, smoothens out the sharp star anise and adds toffee sauce.

Palate: Silky, weighty on the palate. Alcohol integration is almost perfect, better than the Glenfarclas. Pho spices especially cardamom and coriander seed, Goji berries, sansho, underripe kiwi, figs, soursop.

Finish: Long, longer than the Glenfarclas, but starts to taper off earlier. Red dates, Goji berries again and a hint of nougat. Water brings out the soursop again and adds Thai green mango salad. More drying, less juicy than the Glenfarclas.

Conclusion: This is a difficult one to score. I can't say I enjoyed the taste of it on that visceral level as much as the Glenfarclas, with its floral confectionery flavours allied to delicate meatiness. However, this is a masterclass in restrained, green-fruit tropicality with some dusty spice and dark herbality. I'm not a fan of Goji berries, which hits the score. I did enjoy drinking this very much as an intellectual exercise to dissect and discover as it is technically immaculate: complex, great integration short of some ultra-aged/dusty unicorn whiskies. Ultimately the fruitiness is a bit restrained against the herbality, while lacking that beautiful root beer sweet earthiness I adore in sherry. As intellectually satisfying as this was, I think the Glenfarclas edges it out a little considering the more muted and drying finish and more challenging flavours.

Score: 88

If the SMWS named this: Impatient Fruit Farmer