Glendronach 21yo Parliament (2013)
Since Billy Walker and his two South African partners Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter bought Glendronach back in 2008, the distillery has made quite a name for itself. By now it is the premier sherried Scotch whisky, showing Macallan, the former holder of that title, its heels. This is in large part due to the consistently high quality whisky coming out of Glendronach. And also of course due to the fast declining reputation of Macallan.
Glendronach’s core range of age statement whiskies is hard to beat in terms of bang for your buck. I believe the 15yo Revival (still available, although probably not for long) has one of the best price/quality-ratio’s out there. The 21yo Parliament, which I review today, is a step up in price. It is a mixture of PX and Oloroso casks, and bottled at a very respectable 48 percent.
Glendronach 21yo Parliament (48%, OB)
Nose: Sweet and fruity. Toffee with plums and caramelized oranges, raisins and bitter chocolate. Very thick and meaty, a bit of mint in the background. A hint of sulphur.
Taste: Syrupy and rich. Brown sugar, blackberries, blueberries, and caramel. Very sweet, like a dessert wine almost. Some spices like nutmeg, but the sweetness prevails.
Finish: Raisins, mocha and blueberry. Long.
Really, really good. Thick, rich and meaty. You’d be hard pressed to find a better sherried whisky for this price. It has gone up a bit to just under 100 euro (from 60/65 not too long ago), but that is still a fair price I think. You could buy a single cask of the same age, and pay a lot more. But it won’t be much better (or maybe even worse) than this.
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.