GlenDronach 2003 12 YO - Norsk whiskyforbund Cask 1
GlenDronach 2003 12 YO - Norsk whiskyforbund Cask 1, 55,9 %
First of all a disclaimer is in order for this review. This whisky is the first whisky selected by and for the Federation of Norwegian Whisky Societies (Norsk whiskyforbund). Up until three weeks ago, I was on the board of this federation. One of my tasks in the federation was to find a cask for us to release to the members of the whisky societies in the federation.
I contacted GlenDronach's importer in Norway, Cask Norway, and they were very helpful - together with the GlenDronach Distillery. We tested the samples we received and decided on this particular one.
Given the above, I cannot in any way claim to be impartial in this review, but I would still like to share my tasting notes with you. These tasting notes are based on my notes from the initial blind tasting.
I must also mention that the GlenDronach 2003 12 YO - Norsk whiskyforbund Cask 1 won the prize for best Scotch whisky aged 12 years or under at the Oslo whiskyfestival earlier this month. The award is based on votes from all the attendees at the festival.
The spirit was distilled on 2003-03-11, and bottled in September 2015, with a total outturn of 296 bottles. The initial maturation was on a 1st fill American oak bourbon barrel (200 l). Then on 2011-07-19 the whisky was transferred to a European oak Barolo hogshead (250 l). This whisky has a four year Barolo finish, which almost makes it a double matured whisky, rather than a finish.
You can still order this whisky in Norway at NOK 995 (3400401), there are not many bottles left though.
Nose (22/25): Fruity and sugar sweet at first, then more dark and earthy. Almonds, red berries (mainly cherries), hints of oak, mild spices, and caramel pudding. Rich and complex. Slightly acidic maybe?
Taste (22/25): Soft, spicy, rich, fruity, and big. Clear wine notes. Pepper, chili, dark chocolate, honey and a touch of salt.
Finish (22/25): Rich, warm, fruity and with a long finish. Caramel pudding again, and salty dark chocolate. Sweet and sugary. Somewhat dry towards the end.
Balance (22/25): Surprisingly well integrated and balanced overall. I am very happy to have taken part in selecting this cask.
Sláinte! - Thomas