‘Tis the season to be FREEZING YOUR A$$ OFF!
Good G-d, y’all, it’s cold here in Connecticut. We’re talking 15°F (-9°C for the rest of the world).
You may remember that we have, here on the blog, a place for you to go and find the perfect whisky to suit your mood or the season we happen to be in (you can click the image below to get a larger view of it).
We hope that that link will help you to pair whisky with your life. Like pairing a nice heavy bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a dish of Pasta Fra Diavolo, we feel it’s important to pair whisky with what’s going on in your life.
Failing the Ardbeg and Glenfarclas, I might suggest the following two chilly weather, super sherried, warmers:
1992 GlenDronach – 19yo, Cask #161 – 59.2% ABV – £??
On the nose – Wow, this is a HUGE nose (we’re talking about the whisky not my big Jew nose)! Massive notes of apricot jam, a bit of wood smoke, pool water, clean church pews, a toasty baguette and salted and tinned nutty notes.
Really massive. Can not impress that upon you enough.
Deep, sweet berries (raspberry and lingonberry) boiled with sugar and pectin – making berry preserves/jam!
Some dried fruit in here but not as much as expected (not a bad thing – this is a great nose).
Molasses and buckwheat honey (if you mixed the two). You’d never know that this is almost 60% Alcohol (120 proof).
Tons of nutmeg and ginger and spice (ginger snap cookies?).
Finish – Very, very long – spicy, chocolatey and with some more apricots – like warmed apricot and walnuts really.
In sum – Can I just say… ummm… wow. One of the best sherried single cask whiskies I’ve had this year (if not *the* best). It’s like drinking a wood paneled study and an over stuffed leather chair (I imagine Oxford or Yale professors marveling over this one while discussing quantum mechanics). A contemplative dram and winter-warmer-upper for sure.
You may want to scour the whisky auction houses or eBay for this one as it seems to be all sold out – the beauty and difficulty of single cask whiskies.
1991 GlenDronach – 19yo, Cask #2406 – 55.4% ABV – £88 (£73 ex-VAT tax)
On the nose – A bit of an alcoholic nose (you can sense that the ABV is pretty high on this one).
Balsamic vinegar doused shoe leather – if you’re able to imagine such a combination… Sweet and a tad herbal but the sweetness overtakes with notes of spiced dates and fig jam and a few dashes of white pepper.
Some citrus in here as well with hints of key lime but mostly a marmalade note (again, spiced).
With water the nose warms up quite a bit. That vinegar I got is gone and the peppery quality is boosted and there is an addition of milk chocolate here now.
On the mouth – This is a hot one that’s got a good deal of sweetness on the front but the heat is a bit much to get past to dissect. Let’s add a squirt or two of water…
Worlds of difference! A multitude of steeped hot teas and some licorice notes (licorice tea?). Nice chewiness to the fluid.
Finish – Long and spicy on the sides of the tongue with the tobacco as a nice lasting note.
In sum – I’m not sure if this is a 1st fill or 2nd fill sherry butt. Based on the color, I’d say it as 2nd fill or just not an overly active cask. However, the quality of the spirit shines through here and I enjoyed the spiciness to this whisky. It’s not my favorite GlenDronach but one that I could find myself reaching for when I’m looking for a bit of an invigorating malt. Perfect as a morning pick me up or one to warm up before you head out to shovel the winter’s snow fall.