The GlenDronach distillery has released a 50-year-old single malt whisky, the oldest release ever in its near 200-year history, with a limited number of bottles making their way to Australia.
The whisky is described as telling a story of the skilled men and women who have stood as custodians of the distillery for almost two-hundred years. With a keen and watchful eye, this unwavering community protected and nurtured the casks as the liquid within matured in to this exquisite Highland Single Malt.
An example of that stewardship of The GlenDronach was seen on October 12, 1996 when heavy rain saw The Dronach burn breached, and water began seeping into the warehouses were the whisky barrels were quietly maturing. Many workers had not yet left for home, and the distillery foreman rallied the team, who worked through the bitter Highland wind and rain to retrieve casks from the warehouse. When the sun came up the following day, all casks were saved thanks to the team’s dedicated refusal to leave their posts.
As a result, The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years was able to quietly continue its remarkable maturation for a further twenty-five years.
The whisky has been developed by Master Blender Rachel Barrie, who this year celebrates 30 years of service to the whisky industry, and Distillery Manager Alan McConnochie, who started his first job in 1973 in the bottling hall of White Horse Distillers. Both Barrie and McConnochie have been inducted as a ‘Keeper of the Quaich’.
Barrie said: “The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is the most prestigious expression of what this timeless, richly-sherried Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has to offer.
“At 50 Years Old, it is exceptionally rich and seductive, with mellow layers of alluring complexity. On the nose, ripe dark cherry and plum are the preludes to the harmony of rolling stone fruit, while the palate brings an exquisite overture of flavour with dense undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco, and cocoa.
“It has been a privilege to be the final custodian of our oldest expression to date, passed down through generations. The result is a hand-crafted Highland Single Malt that tells a story of rare dedication, of which The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is the rarest of them all.”
The GlenDronach is a richly-sherried Highland Single Malt, recognised for its deep colour and complex flavour profiles, which range from the sweet fruity flavours of the Pedro Ximénez casks, to the dry and nutty notes of Oloroso casks.
The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is a combination of both these casks, and has then had a final maturation in a single Pedro Ximénez cask.
The whisky is bottled at its natural cask strength of 43.8 per cent ABV, with just 198 hand-numbered bottles released worldwide.