GlenDronach has announced the release of the new GlenDronach 50 Years, which is the Highland distillery’s oldest whisky to date. It was distilled in 1971 and will be sold for the impressive sum of £20,000.
The GlenDronach 50 Years has spent its five decades in Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, which means that this release is a vatting of at least two casks. That might be just a tad surprising, considering only 198 bottles will be available. Then again, 50 years is plenty of time for some proper evaporation, as demonstrated by the relatively low (presumably) cask strength of just 43.8 percent. I can’t help but wonder if one of the casks might have dropped below 40 percent even?
How many casks were used exactly is unknown, but they were combined and married together for a final maturation in a single Pedro Ximénez cask. It’s a practice GlenDronach (and likely many other distilleries) have used for their supposed single cask releases. The difference here is that the distillery doesn’t try to sell the GlenDronach 50 Years off as a single cask.
Distillers’ One of One Auction
Bottle No. 1 of the GlenDronach 50 Years was donated to the inaugural Distillers’ One of One Auction, which was held in December 2021. It sold for £40,000 in support of disadvantaged young people in Scotland. Other highlights of the auction the sale of a cask of Talisker 1978 for £625,000, as well as a lot of four bottles of Glenfiddich from the 1950s, which went for £1,037,500. The auction raised a total of £3.1 million, two and half times the pre-sale low estimate.
Master blender Rachel Barrie said in a prepared statement: “The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is the most prestigious expression of what this timeless, richly-sherried Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has to offer.
“At 50 Years Old, it is exceptionally rich and seductive, with mellow layers of alluring complexity. On the nose, ripe dark cherry and plum are the preludes to the harmony of rolling stone fruit, while the palate brings an exquisite overture of flavour with dense undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco, and cocoa.”
“It has been a privilege to be the final custodian of our oldest expression to date, passed down through generations. The result is a hand-crafted Highland Single Malt that tells a story of rare dedication, of which The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is the rarest of them all.”
GlenDronach 50 Years Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Ripe dark cherry and plum are the preludes to a harmony of rolling stone fruit, gentian, and a plume of smouldering tobacco – lifted by lilting notes of bramble, orange, and cranberry. Taste: Dense undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco, and cocoa form an exquisite overture of flavour. A perfect counter comes in a crescendo of elegant plum and luxurious black cherry, enrobed in a swathe of velvet espresso.
The GlenDronach 50 Years will be available from specialist retailers worldwide from January 2022.