Back in December, I bought a couple of sherried whiskies to toast the festive season. Along with the robust and tasty Glenfarclas 105, I also picked up this GlenDronach Cask Strength.
I originally tried this expression at the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash back in 2014 - I started the session with the Batch 3 - and it left a very positive impression. But it took quite a while to get my paws on a bottle as my cash usually goes on bourbon cask whisky rather than the sherried variety.
But there's something about Christmas that makes me yearn for those big, fruit cake flavours - so I spoiled myself. A quarter of the bottle remains, so time for some notes.
Nose: Those massive Christmas cake aromas are here in abundance. Loads of raisins, sultanas, dates, figs and prunes. There's also lots of cinnamon and nutmeg with a touch of marzipan. White pepper, mint and a hint of lemon rind. Walnuts, brazil nuts and golden syrup. With water: The spicy cinnamon is ramped up - as is the vanilla. The sherry notes are lighter. The PX cask is much more evident now, with those Oloroso notes taking a back seat. Green apple is also here.
Palate: Big and bold with lemon-tinged treacle. Dark honey, dry roasted peanuts. With water: Much lighter in character but still carries a bold character. Honey and orange oil and fruity malt loaf.
Finish: Spicy with vanilla and huge cinnamon notes. Lemon rind and orange oil. With water: more orange and vanilla, sticky toffee pudding and ginger snap biscuits.