GlenDronach 1970 SV

"Lovely complexity, lots of maturity, but enough vibrancy to keep it interesting, dry, but no too dry, and no bitterness, in short, a very worthy Christmas dram"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Distilled in February 1970 and bottled in July 1990 by the independent bottler Signatory Vintage, this GlenDronach was matured for 20 years in sherry casks, already a signature of this brand back then. Obviously, this is not for sale anymore in your regular liquor shop, but it your lucky you can find it on auctions or in some specialist shops. Current prices seem to range somewhere between 1000 and 2000 euros. Since I was lucky enough to obtain a sample from a recent share, I thought this could make a very good Christmas dram this year. Well, it sure was a happy Christmas!

Nose

A glue-like start that quickly brings on freshly squashed red fruits, in particular raspberries and blackberries. It is not overly sweet, and possesses a beautiful wood influence. I get wood glue, old varnished wood, like entering a repair shop for antique furniture. Again a re-entrance of the red fruits, now more in the form of compote. I think I get notes of old Oloroso sherry, although I never had any, so these can only be imaginary notes. Some freshly baked cinnamon buns, raspberry liqueur, a good red wine, and hot raisins. A few drops of water (not too many, we don’t want to drown it) bring a more herbal side forward with in particular rosemary. There are less fruits, a hint of liquorice, and maybe pine apples, like a real (non-plastic) Christmas tree, but my imagination might be running wild now. Although, I get some cake with dried fruits and chocolate, could be a Christmas cake… More dried fruits, candied fruits, a cranberry sauce, some fresh sweet flowers like roses, and candied cherries. A lovely complexity.

Taste

In the beginning the palate is pretty tight, but no clear alcohol taste, and slightly dusty. There is some old wood, cinnamon powder and varnish, the latter quickly fades away, but it is clear that this needs water to open up. So with water it is fierce, intense, and once settled down, becomes gentle, and dry, very dry. Reminiscent of grape skin, old leather (if you ever think of licking that), freeze-dried blackberries. The latter freeze-dried, because there are so much fruit juices, but we’re more on a dier side. There is tobacco, cranberries, roses, and mint chocolate. Again very lovely. We end up with a dry finish, and more roses, herbs, freeze-dried cranberries, wood, grape skin, liqueurs, and dried prunes.

Overall

So far I have not been wooed by any GlenDronach. I mean, they were all goof, but not wow, you know, too much sherry boldness, too less complexity. But his, this is something else. Lovely complexity, lots of maturity, but enough vibrancy to keep it interesting. Dry, but no too dry, and no bitterness, which I find so often in young sherry bombs. In short, a worthy Christmas dram, which I enjoyed very much besides the Christmas tree. Can’t wait until next Christmas… Wait, didn’t somebody say that you everyday should be like Christmas day? I mean at least once a week, a month…

What others say

Whiskybase: 92.28 (63 votes) * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 91/100
Read for yourself

Many thanks to for this fantastic sample share!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
85%
Peat/smoke
0.5%
Nose 90%
Taste 89.5%
Balance 89%
Depth 91%
Finish 90%
Score