Nowadays distilleries are trying to stand out from the crowd (because the comfort zone no longer seems to be sufficient under current marketing laws) and are embarking on all kinds of experiments. Those who do not make sherry finishes offer them to us, those who make sherry finishes turn to port, those who make fruity whiskies throw themselves into peat.....
Some even experiment with physical reconstruction and drum mixing (but this is another story). This can upset the rules and make you lose your bearings (and sometimes the true nature of whisky -NDLR-).
However, if some of the experiments seem limited and not even very successful, others are successful. This is the case, I think, of GLENDRONACH PEATED.
Before we taste it, we'll put it back in perspective. We are in Aberdeenshire in a slightly humid area (joke) in the middle of the fields, in a renowned distillery, created in 1826 and which is one of the references. Its speciality for many years has been sherry bom (which it has succeeded in a very successful way, if we take the reference to its 15 years of age for example), namely a 100% sherry finish from the output of the still to the bottle.
Also, to join the trend, it was decided to create a peaty distillate and went through bourbon barrels (double change). It is an experience, for a distillate that usually goes very well with sherry, but in fact it was simply chosen here to bring out the good old recipe of 1826. Indeed, when it was created, the whiskies on offer were peaty (no coal came by train to this region at the time) and yes! Nevertheless, I don't know anyone who's had a drink or he's pretty old.
The fact is, to occupy the winter evenings, the distillers went to fetch malted peat barley, put it in two of the distillery's four stills. The liquid then passed through bourbon barrels, then finished its journey in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenés sherry barrels (there for the moment we remain in the distillery's habits even if it is not usually finishs that rest there!)
So now that the set is set, we're still going to taste it! What to expect from fruity and spicy slightly peaty?
As for the appearance (the video does not deceive) if we did not have the bottle, we would have difficulty imagining a GLENDROMACH so much we are on beautiful gold reflections even if they are a little dark (GLENDROMACH distillates are often more "brown-red").
When the nose plunges into the glass, it is the finish that is immediately obvious. The aromas of red fruit mixed with ripe pineapple come in a bang, amplified by the strength of 46%. A slight base of citrus fruits can be seen. It is at the second passage that peat makes its discreet appearance in the form of the smell of cold ashes in the hearth of the fireplace in the morning. For the third passage, the ashes disappeared and gave way to barley and woody notes but with a vanilla base.
When you do the test in the apple with your hand, it is two steps. First of all with some friction we are first of all on medicinal smells and then (after a few more laps) on real peat aromas with the heated tire.
And to taste?
The entry in the mouth is fresh and fresh. Woody and floral aromas (probably the contribution of the heather fields surrounding the distillery -NDLR-) amplified by alcohol. A few spice tips tickle the foliated taste buds. When it remains in the mouth, it rounds out and warms up to make way for a very light peat (land-based and without any maritime input) but very pleasant. I call it a "tourbinette" (in french in the text- I'll have to think about registering the name!!!). Once dissipated, the smoke gives way to a last, drier note.
Once the journey is over and the whisky swallowed, there are long lasting memories of peat and fruit in the mouth.
Even if we are not completely in the very nature of a GLENDRONACH whisky, we are not staying too far away. I will call this whisky a summer peat, fresh and enjoyable to drink in the sun. But I assure you, we can drink it in winter by the fire.
I validate the experience of GLENDROMACH and its tourbinette (sorry his PEATED).