A FORMIDABLE SCOTCH
by Andrew Chalk
I just tasted The Glendronach Revival 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($93). Despite a diminutive size, the distillery made a world-class name for itself in recent years by winning the 2020 Best in Show Whiskey award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. That bested a field of 3,000 submissions.
The Glendronach is a Highland whisky. That is, of the five Scotch whisky appellations, it comes from the one named Highlands (the others are Speyside, Islay, Lowlands, and Campbeltown). Highland whisky is characterized by great balance and depth. Think of it as the opposite of the angular, all be it nonetheless enrapturing, style of whisky from Islay with its advance guard of peat and iodine. Although made with the same traditional process, Highlands distilleries avoid one dimension of the complex tastes and smells getting out of proportion.
This approach means that, at 15 years of age, and in sherry barrels at that, The Glendronach is a richly rewarding ball of toast, fruit of oranges, molasses, and grain in the nose. It fills the mouth with same, with the ‘bite’ softened by ageing from the year that Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast to the present.
Highly recommended, plus it has a rarity cachet not shared by some of its peers.