The 18-year-old Allardice Sherry Cask bottling has been 100% matured in oloroso casks giving it bags of deep flavours and aromas such as dark chocolate
Glendronach Distillery Forge, Huntly
History: The Glendronach Distillery Company was founded in 1826 by a group of farmers headed by businesman James Allardice who built the distillery, which is in the glen of Forgue, in the east Highland hills. It is one of the oldest distilleries and has been famous for creating sherried single malts for nearly 200 years. Allardice was a relentless salesman, and established Glendronach whisky in Edinburgh by giving out drams to ‘ladies of the night’ in the Cannongate, and soon every pub along the Royal Mile had a bottle of Glendronach on its shelves. In 1837 a fire destroyed the place and five years later Allardice was bankrupt. Over the next 150 years the distillery changed hands several times before in 1960 William Teacher & Sons took control and expanded the number of stills from two to four. They used Glendronach in their blended Teacher’s. Two years ago it was bought by American spirit company Brown-Forman as part of a deal which included The BenRiach Distillery.
The Whisky: Glendronach has a reputation for being a “sherry monster” – the term given to a dram that has been heavily influenced by sherry casks when maturing. However its previous owners may have used more bourbon casks, slightly changing the house style but its new owners have promised to keep sherry cask maturation (in particular Oloroso Sherry casks) as their main flavour profile.
Favourite Dram: They have a great range but I love their 18-year-old Allardice Sherry Cask bottling, which has been 100% matured in oloroso sherry casks giving it bags of deep flavours and aromas such as dark chocolate, cherry and candied orange.
Why Visit? You can visit Huntly castle or even pop into Knockdhu Distillery for a couple more drams while you are here. They offer tours and I would advise phoning ahead to book your space. The basic tour takes you through the history and process of creating their single malt, seeing first-hand the methods that have been in use for nearly 200 years. This tour costs £5 and they will give you a dram to take home if you are driving.
Interesting fact: Oloroso sherry has its origins in the south west of Spain in Jerez. It is a fortified wine that is aged in oak barrels for up to 30 years and beyond. These barrels are then used by the Scotch industry to age the whisky. They are more expensive than bourbon barrels but give it a much darker colour and add a deeper and nuttier flavour profile.