So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Glendronach Octarine 46%

Not sure why I haven’t had more Glendronach than this, so confident am I in this whisky that I always recommend it as a sucessor to Macallan when somebody says they can’t stomach Fine Oak. The core 12, 15, and 18 have never disappointed, and the natural robustness of the spirit paired with Single Cask have been a safe haven  for the most finicky of sherryheads.

The basis of my belief? A lot of tradition is kept at Glendronach, despite it’s turbulent ownership history and mothballing – The floor maltings were in use till 1996 (and was dried with a mix of coal and peat) and the stills were still coal fired till 2005. Best yet, the house style is sherried, and high quality single cask sherry monsters are available right now for a price that is not unreasonable, and the pipeline behind them is solid.




I mentioned mothballing? Glendronach was part of the Teacher’s family when the brand was acquired by Allied. Allied silenced it in 2002 and it remained so till 2005 when Pernod Ricard bought over Allied. The current owners, Billy Walker and the Benriach Distilling Company bought it from Pernod in 2008, and that’s when the current revamped core range was released. So yes that’s a 3 year gap in stock, and the common knowledge is that this naturally means the 12 year olds bottled between 2014 and 2017, the 15 year old bottled between 2017 and 2020 etc must be older than the label indicated.

The wash stills’ lyne arms are somewhat peculiar, having a gracefully sinuous downward curve to them instead of angling straight.



This is the Glendronach Octarine, bottled for Carrefour in 2010, in a vatting that includes ex-sherry and bourbon casks. No age is given but the name and the rumour suggests an age close to 8 years.

glendronach octarine (picture borrowed from htfw.com)

Nose  Nose: Punchy, bright, and clearly young but not immature, that’s a good sign. The overt sherry is also clear: dried cranberries, glazed strips of orange peel, dipped in milk chocolate. Rich ribena fruitiness. It’s blackforest gateau. But the spirit is firm enough not to be swamped. Some coconut, some new splintered wood, also something like new greeting cards, but also some raw spirit.

Taste  Palate: Betrayed by its youth on the tongue, but its the life of the party, big and sweet: Desert spices, rich sweetness and lots of young heat. Active wood and not fully integrated, a bit harsh even. Ok also toffee, malt, red fruit skins.


Finish  Finish: Medium, coffee, lacquered wood, tad harsh.



At 8 years? Sure.. but it hasn’t had a chance to develop finesse or maturity. Still, an everyday-er.

One comment on “Glendronach Octarine 46%

  1. Carissa Hickling
    November 22, 2015

    You will be most envious… just tried the 1971 & 1972 PX 39, 40, 41 & 42 year old… everything you ever loved in a Glendronach accentuated!

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This entry was posted on August 6, 2015 by in Glendronach and tagged .
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