Nestled in the valley of Forgue, deep in the East highland hills, is The Glendronach, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. Founded in 1826 by James Allardice an early pioneer of sherry cask maturation. Slowly matured in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks the malt has a unique richly-sherried style which the distillery is famous for. The latest release is an exquisite example of the distiller’s art. The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 11 is a 28-year-old single malt selected by master blender, Rachel Barrie, from a small number of rare Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks.

As she explains: “The GlenDronach Grandeur is an unparalleled range of the finest aromas and character from masterful Spanish oak sherry cask maturation. A single malt of elegant finesse, this expression offers a symphony of sherry aromatics interwoven with dark manuka honey, roasted almond and walnut. It is intense and full-bodied, as is the signature of The GlenDronach, with a crescendo of black cherry and espresso adorning each mouthful.” It is no accident that the rare malt which is sent out from by Rachel Barrie is highly prized. The picture-postcard distillery is home to a glistening copper mash tun, traditional wooden washbacks and elegant pot stills where the alchemy of distillation creates the richest of spirits.

The unusual copper saxophone-shaped stills are responsible for the full-bodied mouthfeel and long-lasting finish of the malts. Left to mature patiently in the finest casks in warehouses beside the Dronac burn, the spirit only sees the bottle when the master distiller is completely satisfied. The process continues the traditions established by the distillery’s founder James Allardice in 1826. It is said that a parliament of rooks has been closely guarding GlenDronach’s secrets for all those years. In fact, distillery folk believe that as long as the rooks remain at the distillery, they will be good for the whisky. The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 11 is a very limited release with each individual bottle sealed with wax and numbered by hand to reflect its rarity. It is only available from selected specialist retailers.

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