Rumour Mill: Bye Bye Glendronach 15?
UPDATE (16/07/2015): No longer a rumour, but now officially confirmed by the BenRiach Distillery Company.
Rumour Mill is a new section in which I’ll occasionally write about persistent rumours in the whisky industry. Rumours that either can’t or won’t be confirmed by the distillery or company they concern, but are still substantial enough to be mentioned and discussed. Today’s rumour: the Glendronach 15 Revival will be discontinued.
Beloved expressions being discontinued is nothing new. Just this year it was announced that whiskies such as The Glenlivet 12yo and Laphroaig 18yo will be taken from the shelves. Last year it was The Laddie Ten, among others. But the rumour that the Glendronach 15yo Revival will disappear, is one that really hurts. No disrespect to the Laphroaig 18yo, but the Revival is probably the best Bang For Your Buck-whisky out there. Matched (in my opinion) only by the excellent Benromach 10. Why would Glendronach stop bottling their 15yo Revival? It doesn’t make sense, but the rumour seems to be true. Let’s examine the evidence.
The first important question: where did this rumour start? The first sort of official word came via a press release from German importer Kammer-Kirsch GmbH. It is a small paragraph in an announcement of the new Glendronach 8 The Hielan, so it is easy to miss. But there it is, clearly stated: the Glendronach 15 Revival is no longer offered by the distillery itself. And while were at it, in the press release it is also mentioned that stock of the Glendronach 21 is low.
I’ve also received some information from a different source, but I was asked not to reveal that source, so I won’t. All that is left to say is that they confirmed the press release by Kammer-Kirsch. You have no reason to believe that I have a second source, I understand that. So it’s up to you if you do.
Then there’s another confirmation from the Austrian importer. Bernhard Rems of Whiskyexperts.de shared as much on Facebook. And there’s no reason not to believe him. I do anyway, which brings the tally of sources up to three.
Problem is, all sources are second-hand. And I don’t want to present something as a fact unless I get it straight from the source itself. I want things to be airtight. In this case that means getting confirmation from the BenRiach Distillery Company, the owners of Glendronach Distillery. So I contacted their brand ambassador Stewart Buchanan. He forwarded my email to Alastair Walker, director of sales and marketing. And that is where the trail ends.
The last reminder I’ve sent Stewart dates from two weeks ago, and I’m no longer holding my breath. It would be nice to receive at least an answer. Even if it is to say that they don’t want to comment. Shouldn’t be that hard right? Maybe someone at the BenRiach Distillery Company reads this, and hopefully they feel compelled to go on record. But I’m not counting on it.
So what now?
Well, there is no official confirmation from the distillery itself, but there are three different other sources. Which is enough evidence for me to say that this rumour is very true. Except that I don’t think this is the definitive end of the Glendronach 15yo. Why, you ask?
Because of a usually well-informed Dutch blog called Whisky Oss. In their blog post on the new Glendronach 8yo The Hielan, they share a telling piece of information. According to the guys at Whisky Oss, the Glendronach 15yo Revival will return in 2017. And their source is said to be very reliable.
Fanboys and -girls of Glendronach are allowed to cry for now, because it won’t be long before seeing a Glendronach 15yo in a shop will be like seeing a unicorn. But don’t despair, the 15yo will return in two years time. So stock up if you want, and be patient.
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.