GlenDronach Platinum 16 YO

From the same owners of my previous review, BenRiach, my next review is of the GlenDronach Platinum 16 year old. The whisky selected for this special bottling, which is exclusively bottled for the South African market, has been matured for a minimum of 16 years in the finest Oloroso sherry casks.

GlenDronach_Platinum_16yo_The Smoky Dram

Whisky: GlenDronach Platinum 16 YO, 48% ABV (Cost around R950) 

Region: used to be classified as a Speyside (Jackson) but officially a Highlands (SWR 2009), Scotland [from WhiskyFun]

Style: Single Malt

Age: 16 Years

In 1826 James Allardice founded the distillery and produced his ‘Guid GlenDronach’ single malt. In 2004 three families, two being South African, purchased BenRiach. Then the same families (The BenRiach Distillery Company) bought the GlenDronach distillery in 2008. The GlenDronach Distillery has been creating richly sherried single malts for nearly 200 years.

As was the case in 1826, The GlenDronach Distillery patiently matures all its single malt whisky in superior quality sherry casks. Over the years of extended maturation, these carefully seasoned casks help create the unique richly sherried style that GlenDronach is famous for. So the whiskies have a deep amber to rich mahogany colour, while having the typical sherried styled characteristics; rich dried fruits, Christmas cake mix, stewed fruits and lovely warm spiciness.

Colour: Tawny to mahogany with many thick legs.

Nose: Soft, spicy and rich with lovely spicy stewed fruits and cinnamoned apples. With time in the glass one gets sweetness as well as dates (date loaf bread), prunes, sultanas and dark chocolate. Soft coffee notes in background together with some citrus zest.

Palate: Smooth and spicy (tip and side of tongue) while also being dry and astringent, but not overly so. Divine dark coffee chocolate on edge of palate with a lovely ginger and cinnamon (fire ball sweets) bite combined with some coffee and smoke. More of the expected rich stewed and dried fruits with that lovely sweetness towards the end.

Finish: Very rich and drying finish, combined with the ‘warm heart’, makes it long and satisfying.

Overall: A beauty of a sherried whisky that could be enjoyed at any time, however it seems to be perfectly made for enjoyment around a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night while one contemplates all of life’s little mysteries.

My Score: 86

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Glenmorangie The Original 10yo

Once again onwards and upwards with my reviews, with the focus once again on 10 year olds. Still in Scotland, but this time to the Highlands of Scotland.

Glenmorangie_Original_10_The Smoky DramWhisky: Glenmorangie 10, 43 ABV (Cost around R400)

Region: Northern Highlands, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: 10 Years

Hand-crafted with pride by the Sixteen Men of Tain, the Glenmorangie Original is a 10yo single malt which is produced (as described by the Glenmorangie website) “by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks”.

Glenmorangie was amongst the first Scottish distillers (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels to age their whisky rather than Spanish oak (ex-Bourbon). They also only ever use their casks twice. Founded in 1843, they have been pursuing perfection – under the stewardship of two families and now Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy – for over 160 years.

Colour: Pale gold to yellowy with very many lovely thick legs.

Nose: Citrus (mostly oranges and lemons), soft vanilla, peaches, chocolate, sweet, warm toffee pudding. Hint of spiciness in the background. A fresh, clean and easy nose that is not overpowering.

Palate: Vanilla, sweet (toffee sweets), floral, creamy mocha with a slight citrus and nuttiness in background. There is a lovely slight spicy bite on the tip of the tongue that slowly spreads to the back of the throat.

Finish: Long finish that is clean with a lingering citrus spiciness.

Overall: A pleasant whisky that is very approachable. It has a sweetness and floralness to it that is underpinned by a lovely spiciness, which carries it way through all the way to the end.

My Score: 82