GlenDronach Revival 15
Scuttlebutt has it that this whisky is shortly to be discontinued, and unlikely to be available again until 2018. So, I’ve rushed this review forward in the queue – let’s see if it’s worth buying a bottle while it’s still on the shelves.
Nose: Unmistakably a huge Oloroso influence: demerara sugar, raisins, nuts and all that. Beyond that though it’s really quite meaty (think Bovril), savoury and smoky. There’s also a distinct sweet fruit note – almost floral and confectionery-like – cherry predominantly, but also some banana and candyfloss. It’s undoubtedly a great nose.
Taste: Big and sherried. Dark chocolate orange, raisins and redcurrant jelly. It reminds me a lot of those dried Mexican Ancho chiles: fruity, leathery and mildly spicy. There’s a little smoke too – like toasting those chiles on the comal? – and traces of liquorice.
Finish: Rounded, lingering and bitter-sweet, with touches of mulled wine spices. Morello cherries, banana and unrefined sugar. Gets drier and – not unpleasantly – bitter as it fades.
I’ll lay my prejudices bare here for a moment and say that the “Sherry Bomb” style of whisky isn’t generally in my wheelhouse – it can be a bit bombastic and, well, exhausting for my taste. (Refill casks FTW IMHO etc) This doesn’t fall into that trap though. The sherry influence is undeniably huge, but it’s not overwhelming and the balance between the savoury/smoky and fruity/sweet is really well judged. Cherry flavours are always a pleasant thing to find in whisky.
So: for sherry-heads this is a must-have, and everyone else will find something to enjoy too. Old-school, well-made and fairly-priced whisky: a shame it’s (apparently) going away.