GlenDronach Peated feels quite exotic, since GlenDronach distillery is famous for making sweet sherry matured whiskies. In fact, GlenDronach Peated was their first ever peated expression introduced in 2015. I have to admit, I do get excited every time I bump into a peated whisky outside Islay. Even though Islay is the benchmark for smoky whiskies. Especially the track record of GlenDronach had been so good so far, that this smoky GlenDronach sounded like a treat to me.
GlenDronach Peated has been matured in Ex-Bourbon casks before transferred to Ex-Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks – so it has that classic GlenDronach sherry touch, along with smoke and bourbon influence.
GlenDronach Peated is a mix of nice and rough things. The rough edges dominate this dram a bit too much. Then again, being a fan of strong phenolic whiskies, I like it. Still I feel that GlenDronach couldn’t quite get the best out of them. I would have preferred it to have more of that typical GlenDronach sherry feel. Combined with heavy smoke, it would’ve been great.
So GlenDronach Peated is kinda like Beauty and the Beast, with the beast taking the edge. Nothing wrong with beast being the dominating character, especially with whiskies. But with this Speyside distillery, I would have loved it to have more sophisticated notes in the mix. All in all, a nice peated dram.