Friday, 23 February 2018

Green Welly 1993 Glendronachs

It’s like Glendronach are “getting rid” of all their 1993s!  A surprise beauty released by Green Welly to celebrate their 10th year online, then one from Abbey, now two more from Green Welly shipping in a few weeks.


Thanks to GW for sending me samples of these three, much appreciated.

Glendronach 1993, Cask 653, 60.4% A⊕+

Green Welly 10 years online edition.

Full term maturation in Oloroso cask, 19/03/1993, bottled 2017, 407 bottles.

gd1993_653Nose - Rich and ripe as you'd expect; roasted red berries and coffee grounds, strawberry laces and cherry chocolate sponge. With time, the icing off a Mr. Kipling chocolate cupcake. There's a deep balance in that sweet richness though, that I recall from the last Glendronach 1993 I tried (notes below, apparently I didn't publish it!). With time that really deep, reduced sherry tone, reminds me of the big, deep old Japanese sherry casks. A touch of cigar tobacco and some puff pastry with water. The waxy sherry, the Japanese is even more pronounced.

Body - Balance again - cherries and hubba bubba at first, whistle pops and an interesting charred smoke later on. Fluctuates between robust structured oak and flashes of sweetshop fruit. Bright yet deep, and intensely sherried but with herbal notes and well-structured wood.

Finish - Coffee and cough candy, new varnish and cherry tunes. Very long, veering back into cough candy at the end. Numbing wood oils with water.

I love the deep, balanced Japanese feel to this. It's numbing, tannic in its delivery but the fruit is enormous and its very, very drinkable.

Glendronach 1993, Cask 654, 58.9% A⊕+'

Full term maturation in sherry cask, 19/03/1993, bottled January 2018

gd1993_654Nose - Meatier than the 653, less coffee, more biscuit. Chocolate milk with Jaffa cakes. There's a minty, earthier quality to this one, with a little hand cream, a touch medicinal.

Body - Dreamy. Perfectly balanced on cream, red berries, bitter coffee and dark chocolate. It is really, really compelling. Even better with a tiny touch of water, a bit more richness, more cream against the woods.

Finish - Very long, that mintiness really enhances the sherry richness, somehow carrying it further across your palate right up into your hind brain. Old wood varnish (numbing and splintered), licked perfume, cigar tar. Orange zest at the very end.

One of the most addicting whiskies I've tasted, there's something that compels you to have another sip here. I think it's the bracing wood in the finish, but really well balanced.

Glendronach 1993, Cask 655, 59.4% A+

Full term maturation in sherry cask, 19/03/1993, bottled January 2018

gd1993_655Nose - Waxier, more plastic than 654, but that wax is much more grown up and "HQ" - even more cream and less of the challenging cheap chocolate and medicinal notes that 4 had. It's more luxurious. More citrus with water, a mounting orange zest.

Body - Hops, caraway and cigarettes. Oddly much less luxurious than the 4, more herbal and astringent in front of the brown sugar and sherry cask. The chocolate is slightly burnt, the retronasal wax works well though. Better with water, but still a little challenging.

Finish - Herbal cigarettes, beer and sesame snaps. Long but bitter, some lemon pips… slightly awkward compared to the others. With water, the citrus starts to sing and brings another dimension to this sherry and wood onslaught.

Out of all these, this one has the integration issues. This is the one that feels "finished" although obviously it isn't.

Glendronach 1993, 23 years old, Oloroso Cask 40 (batch 13), 58.5% A⊕

I think Jon Webb sorted this one out as a bottle share back in batch 13 days.  I wrote notes back then but forgot about it – there’s a lot of notes I haven’t managed to publish!  Anyway, not GW related but still 93, may as well stick it on the end.

glendronach-23-year-old-1993-cask-40-whiskyNose - That's what Glendronach's (enormous) reputation is built on. It's a perfect sherry bomb, and for me that means that it isn't raisins and sulphur, it has structure, it's fresh, it has perfume as well as being sweet, rich and beautifully (if quite intensely) sherried. This is the perfect sherry nose; soft sherry, window putty, malt loaf, caraway and soft liquorice. Complex, fruity, elegant, intense. Even better with water, the bearing of a 40 year old.

Body - Gentle, roasted plums and tart tatin. Sulphur and fruit with water.

Finish - Charred oak, massive tannins, very spicy, almost peated. Very, very long, burnt raisins and liquorice to finish.

You can't ask for more from a single cask Glendronach.

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