Thursday, 19 December 2013

Glendronach 18 year old versus the Glendronach 21 year old

It has been a while (over 2 weeks) since my last post. It is as I am sure many can understand a very busy time of year. It's not even that I haven't had great things to post about. Since my last post I attended my whisky groups Christmas Party where I had the pleasure of trying several different whiskies. All of the whiskies presented over the year were present. Of note are the Bruichladdie 10 year old, The Caol Ila 12 year old, the Ardbeg Corryvrekan and the guest of honour... The Glenlivet 25 year old. All were wonderful in their own way.

The Bruichladdie "Laddie 10" is an unpeated Islay malt. It is very soft, creamy and smooth. An easy drinking dram that blends custard and tropical fruits.

The Caol Ila was a smoky peaty little jewel that seemed very approachable to me. I quite enjoyed it and have added it to my wish list.

The Ardbeg was like heaven. Hands down my favorite whisky of the year. Delicious notes of peat smoke and brine perfectly balanced by a honey citrus sweetness, and a slight spiciness. I highly recommend this if you can get a hold of it.

The Glenlivet was also quite tasty. I found it to have notes of chocolate, vanilla and marzipan. really rich and almost chewy. I was however unable to rave about it. It was good but for the price point I found it (as did others) to be lack luster and underwhelming. Having said that the box that it came in had us all in awe. It was beautiful.

Alright enough of that dwelling on the past stuff. Since it has been a while I decided to do a double. I will pit The Glendronach 18 year old from October against the 21 year old expression. Both of these bottles were Christmas gifts from myself.

For music I decided I should also put on a double CD. I was feeling kind of mellow so I threw on John Mclaughlins "Shakti". This album blends some intense classical Indian music with the spacey jazz influences of John Mclaughlins guitar. Really absorbing and quite remarkable. This is the kind of album that you can play over and over and always notice something new.

The Glendronach that we tried in October was such a big hit that I had to have a bottle. I was therefore quite excited when I found out that my local liquor store was going to be bring in a few bottles of not only the 18 year old but also the 21 year old. I actually picked up the 21 year old first and then I picked up the 18 year old today. so without further ado... Here we go.

Glendronach 18 Year old "Allardice"

Nose: completely different from how I remember it last time. This sample has raisins, dates and a bit of melon. I also seemed to get a bit of leather which I found last time.

Palate: a bit of chocolate with some fruit. I'm not sure what fruit but I want to say apricot. There is also a touch of leather and a whisper of smoke.

Finish: The finish is long and quite dry and tingly. There is a touch of tart wine and an almost musty note.

Not bad. a lot of nice things going on here.

Glendronach 21 Year Old "Parliament"      

Nose: Chocolate and raisins at first. There are also some coffee notes mixed with a thick sweetness like black strap molasses.

Palate: The initial mouth feel is heavy and thick. I got burnt sugar, Thompson raisins and a hint of smoke. On the fade is a bite of wine.

Finish: Long and smooth. Really refined stuff. The raisins mix with the sugar and smoke and the mix reminds me of a burnt raisin like one might find on the top of a fruit cake.  

These are both really nice whiskies.I am very excited to welcome them into my home and my collection. I will say that I enjoyed the 21 year old a bit more. The 18 year old had a slight vinegary tartness to it while the 21 was smooth, thick and creamy.

On that note I bid you all good night and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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