Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: Glendronach Revival 15

Glendronach Revival 15
Price: $75-$85
Strength: 46 %

A few years ago I tapped a maple tree.  I didn't have a good way to boil off the sap, so I collected it over a few weeks in a huge tupperware container.  Once I had 10 gallons or so, I transported the sap to my childhood home and boiled it off on the woodstove.  The sap tasted a little off, but I thought it might be fine when boiled into sweet syrup.  It wasn't.  The sweetness was there, but some bacteria had clearly penetrated.

This whisky reminds me of that maple experiment.  The nose has a slight "off" smell, but it also has a lot of character: dry sherry, wood, plums, and burnt caramelized carrots.  The palate starts off with a nice interplay of sweet dessert syrup and dry wine, but it builds and builds to an intense rotted cork flavor that explodes in the tannic finish.

This whisky tastes over-sherried to me, but I have found that I enjoy it as an after-dinner drink when my palate has been shot with some garlic-heavy food.  75 points (C). 

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  1. Glendronach is one of those like Aberfeldy or Linkwood or Benriach that I've always been curious about, but never quite gotten to. Sad to hear it has that funky off taste that seems to show up occasionally in malts.

  2. I've heard some people complain about some off notes in the Glendronach 12... ever had that one to know if it's the same thing here? I'm hoping this is just a case of something that just doesn't agree with you rather than being truly "off," since I've got a bottle of the 15 in my cabinet!

  3. I had actually tried the Glendronach line (12, 15, and 18) at a tasting before buying, and at the tasting had liked them all and did not get any "off" notes. The 12 had a good balance between sweet cream and sherry, but I went with the 15 because it was richer and deeper. The 18 was nice but seemed to take a step back from the 15. So I was pretty surprised to get these notes; maybe it could have to do with the whisky interacting with air after being opened?

  4. Let me back you up - I had the same experience with my bottle of the Revival 15, the sulphur note killing an otherwise very promising experience.

  5. My own experience with GlenDronach so far as been pretty ordinary. I've tasted the Allardice 18 and, more recently, the Revival 15 and thought both were ok, decent but far from great. Just like you, I thought it went a little too far in the sherry flavors and then failed to provide other balancing tones.

    Since I have an almost full bottle of Revival at home, I will give it a few more tries, but so far count me among those not particularly impressed with GlenDronach.