Malt Mongers Israel Glendronach Evening

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Once again our local whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel (MMI) met up to try some whisky and enjoy some good company. This time we met at the Milk and Honey distillery in Tel Aviv, which is a very fitting location for a whisky club.

This month’s theme was Glendronach, where we tried to find some unconventional ones. The list was:

  • Glendronach 18 Year old Marsala Finish
  • Glendronach 2003 – 11 Year old Single Sauternes Cask
  • Glendronach 2003 – 12 Year old Single PX Cask
  • Glendronach 2002 – 13 Year old Single PX Cask

This is a good selection as 2 of them are not sherry matured which is generally what Glendronach is known for, and both of those two are matured/finished using sweet white wines. The other 2 are both from PX casks, but not from the 1995 stock which has flooded the market. I’ve tried several of those and found them to be pretty much high alcohol PX sherry, whereas these younger ones might have a different character to them. I really liked the fact that they are both similar in age and cask type so we could really see how much difference just a cask can make. This was a good evening for whisky geekery.


Glendronach 18 Marsala Finish

Aged 18 years. 46% ABV. Matured in European Oak and finished in Marsala Hogsheads. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Butterscotch. Ozone. Yellow cherry. Hay. Toffee. So much toffee. Flowers. Coconut. Light spices.

Palate: Orange. Leather. Bitter wood. Woodspice. Those cheap pink chewy sweets.

Finish: Long. Spicy. Fruity. Bitter.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5


Glendronach 2003 Sauternes Cask

Aged 11 years. 56.6%ABV. Matured in a Sauternes wine cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 2545.

Nose: Rich wood with varnish. Caramel. Carrots. Glue. Salt. Salty toffee. With water some sulphur

Palate: Very spicy. White grape juice concentrate. Dry wine tannins.

Finish: Long. Sweet wine and sweet fruits. Spicy, mainly woodspice but a hint of pepper. Dry wood.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5


Glendronach 2003 PX Cask

Aged 12 years. 54.9%ABV. Matured in a PX sherry cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 1823.

Nose: Dunnage. Heather. Rich toffee. Leather. Honey. Sage. Eucalyptus. Sour cream.

Palate: Sulphur. Sweet red fruits. Candy floss. Menthol.

Finish: Long. Dark fruits. Dunnage. Prunes. Bitter grape juice.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5


Glendronach 2002 PX Cask

Aged 13 years. 54.8%ABV. Matured in a PX sherry cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 4651.

Nose: Naphthalene. Toffee. Dry grass. Dark fruits. Raspberry candy. Sulphur. Cherry candy. Amaretto.

Palate: Salty toffee. Plums. Sultanas. Caramel. Pepper. Cinnamon.

Finish: Long. Lots of woodspice. Fruits. Salt. Slightly chemical

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5


As I mentioned above, this was a really fun evening for geekery. I found that I was able to identify certain notes common to all the whiskies which really gives an idea of the distillery’s base profile, which I actually quite like.

The Marsala finished whisky was very nice, and very different from the standard Glendronach fair. However, I did find it a little bitter on the end. It’s also very pricey for what it is.

The Sauternes cask was Sauternes matured whisky, not my favourite in general. It wasn’t as cloyingly sweet as some Sauternes matured whiskies, but still very winey in character. Interestingly a sulphury note popped up which I wasn’t expecting but apparently can be a characteristic of the wine, according to one of the guys in the club more versed in that matter than I.

Now to the two PX cask whiskies. Both were very different from the 1995 releases I’d tried, with far more of the distillate’s character coming through, which I liked a lot. The 2003 was surprisingly herbal and the 2002 was surprisingly chemical, but both worked quite well, although I did slightly prefer the 2003.

In all a fantastic evening, I got to release my inner whisky geek and also sit and enjoy the company of friends.

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