The GlenDronach announced its oldest expression to date today, a 50-year-old single malt that was distilled in 1971.
The spirit was aged for five decades in rare Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, from the Spanish bodegas of Jerez in Andalucía that were personally selected by Master Blender Rachel Barrie. The individual casks were then married for a final maturation in a single Pedro Ximénez cask. The key word in that last sentence being “single.” Only 198 bottles of the spirit will be made available worldwide and it’s been through a lot.
The brand says that the rare liquid has survived floods and extreme Highland winters, as well as being haunted by the legend of a Spanish ghost.
“The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is the most prestigious expression of what this timeless, richly-sherried Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has to offer,” Master Blender, Rachel Barrie said in a prepared statement. “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 flavor with dense undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco, and cocoa.”
I, unfortunately, haven’t gotten a chance to taste this one. Here are the official tasting notes from the distillery:
- Appearance: Antique mahogany chestnut
- Nose: Ripe dark cherry and plum are the preludes to a harmony of rolling stone fruit, gentian, and a plume of smoldering tobacco – lifted by lilting notes of bramble, orange, and cranberry.
- Palate: Dense undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco, and cocoa form an exquisite overture of flavor. A perfect counter comes in a crescendo of elegant plum and luxurious black cherry, enrobed in a swath of velvet espresso.
- ABV: 43.8%
Each hand-numbered bottle of The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years is presented in a leather case accompanied by an embossed leather booklet detailing the distillery history, tasting notes, and unique craft. Bottle No. 1 of The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years was donated to the inaugural Distillers’ One of One Auction in December 2021, raising $54,000 in support of disadvantaged young people in Scotland.
If you want one, you’ll face both the challenge of finding a bottle and perhaps the challenge of affording one. Each bottle has a suggested retail price of $25,000.