Blind Tasting Competition #13: Glendronach 1993 for Abbey Whisky
This sample has been playing tricks with me. I first nosed and tasted it a couple of days ago. I seriously can’t remember what I tasted before, but something must’ve influenced my tastebuds, because it reminded me of the Bowmore Devil’s Casks. Well, the second time round I recognized this for what it is: a heavily sherried whisky.
Glendronach 1993/2013 (59,1%, OB, C#33 bottled for Abbey Whisky)
Nose: Some smoke and maybe charcoal. Super dark sherry. Shoe polish and damp wood. Some spices, cloves and coriander. Then soy rears its head, as well as cocoa and dark chocolate. With water the sweeter notes appear, and also some dates and figs. Phew, I love this!
Taste: A hint of smoke, some black pepper. The nose had some sweeter notes but I struggle to find them on the palate. Leather maybe. Spicy with mint and aniseed. Smooth and creamy, highly drinkable.
Finish: Tobacco, raisins, cinnamon and maple syrup. Not as long as I would’ve liked, but long enough.
This is very, very good sherried whisky. So I pick the obvious choice, which is Glendronach. I go for a 20yo, which seems likely with so many 1993 and 194 vintages on the market. I don’t think the abv is extremely high, but still a respectable 52,1 percent.
As it turns out I have the distillery and the age correct (worth 80 points), but on the abv I was way off. Four people actually managed to get the maximum score of 100 points. Congrats guys! As for me, I hold on to the first place. Only five more samples to go, but lots can change still.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.