I won’t declare my love for GlenDronach 1993 again. I know many people don’t believe in the vintage concept for whisky, but something a distillery just gets things right, resulting in a batch of really good casks. I’ve enjoyed many a great 1993 ever since GlenDronach first released single casks in 2009. Actually I didn’t think the first casks #523 and #529 were special but I adored the low numbers that started to appear around 2012 (all filled 15th of January 1993), like cask #4.
When this GlenDronach 1993 Master Vintage was leaked, I feared it would be a way to blend away some of the less convincing casks from this vintage. After all the distillery had been saying for years that spirit from 1993 was almost gone from the warehouses. What do you do with casks that aren’t exceptional enough to be bottled as a single cask?
Nose: toffee and chocolate. Caramelized apples, blackcurrants and nutty notes. Vanilla. Something of fruit liqueur and mulled wine in the background. Lighter rummy notes, hints of old roses. Candied ginger. Mouth: thinner, now mostly on wood spices, dry nutty notes and hints of toffee. Hardly any fruits. Charred woody notes. Hazelnuts, coffee and cocoa powder. Hints of cinnamon and ginger. Finish: fairly long, on herbal notes, black tea and earthy wood spices.
Well, on its own this is a really good whisky. But the distillery is selling it with an unwritten promise of the masterful 1993 character and that’s not the case. This is in fact a skilful mix of what’s left in the warehouse, but it’s lighter, less complex and especially less fruity than what we were hoping for. Available from Master of Malt or a sample from The Whisky Exchange.