GlenDronach 8 Years Old ‘The Hielan’ (2018)
Remember the GlenDronach 8yo Octarine? It was a big hit over here in The Netherlands. Originally bottled for French supermarket Carrefour, I guess it reached my country through parallel import. Of course there were only a limited amount available, and when all Octarine were sold out in shops, they changed hands for high prices on the secondary market. This was during the time when you could buy the GlenDronach 15yo Revival for 35/40 euro, and the Octarine went for twice that. Goes to show you how stupid people can be.
Many Dutchmen rejoiced when a new 8 year old was announced in 2015, the GlenDronach ‘The Hielan’. It never quite became as popular, probably because of the lesser sherry influence, which is after all what GlenDronach is known for. Nevertheless, it is a rewarding whisky in its own right.
GlenDronach 8 Years Old ‘The Hielan’ (46%, OB)
Nose: Soft notes of straw, vanilla custard and honey, accompanied by oranges, lemon zest and pencil shavings. After a little while a distinct aroma of freshly cut pear parts.
Taste: Nice oily texture with light citrus fruit, butterscotch and subtle spicy notes of cloves and ginger. There’s a touch of honey as well. Quite attractive, despite the oaky bitterness.
Finish: Subtle red fruits, ginger and pepper.
A well constructed and tasty whisky, especially if you also consider the price point, which stands at 30/35 euro. For the GlenDronach fan that thinks the other expressions are too sherried 😉
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.