Monday, April 19, 2010


One of my favorite scotches is Glendronach. They produce their original and a 12, 15, and 18 year and are supplier of quality scotch for blending with Teachers blend. They have a couple of versions of the 12 and the one I like has a good sherry finish (but I haven’t tried them all so I don’t know if they all have that or not). The 15 year old is the best for me and it is 100% matured in sherry barrels and I guess it is no big secret that the sherry finish is my favorite version of scotch in most cases. I really enjoy the wonderful aftertaste that the sherry finish offers. I have not yet had the pleasure of being introduced to the 18 but look forward to it with relish. I cannot say enough about how good this scotch tastes. It is really a joy to drink. Please try it soon and no I don’t own stock in the distillery I just love their scotch.
Glendronach produces about 1,400,000 liters a year so there should be plenty for both you and me to enjoy. They use coal fired stills and floor maltings. For anyone who doesn’t know, the process of making the barley moist and then heating it slowly to get the sprouting started is what malting is. As it has been explained to me on various distillery tours the malting is simply a method to get the grain to its highest level of sugar content which best supports the distilling process to follow. Often on tours the guide will allow the huddled masses of scotch fans to sample a few grains of the malted barley and it does taste sweet. Once upon a time all distilleries malted their own barley but today many just buy it from other sources. From what I have read Glendronach does their own. The peaty or smoky flavored scotches get that smokiness by the grain being malted over peat fires. Peat of course is pre-coal dug up from bogs around Scotland and dried and is still used today in fireplaces to heat homes although one can buy a compressed version today that looks more like coal than field peat. Peat started forming in about 800 BC or so and before that Scotland and Ireland had a very different, warmer, and dryer climate. I digress a bit since Glendronach is NOT a peaty flavored scotch it has no smokiness at all to my taste and as stated I love the sherry finish that Glendronach does so well.
The distillery was started or should I say legally started in 1826 with more colorful distilling occurring pre-1826 by persons who will remain nameless in this writing. Suffice it to say that by 1826 the folks in the area knew how to make good whisky. The distillery was bought out in 2008 by the Benraich Distillery and remains under their good guidance to this day. Glendronach is a Speyside Distillery which simply means it is located in the area of the Spey river in North Eastern Scotland just a few miles East of Inverness and Loch Ness. There are many distilleries in this area and it has the whisky trail that one can wander and visit many of the distilleries. Remember not all distilleries are open to the public so look them up online before you go so you know which ones to visit and what the touring hours are for each. One can also book a guided tour for a few days complete with bus and driver and first class accommodations so one can enjoy all the whisky they wish without worry about driving duties. I have not used the tour services to date but would imagine that would be fun and I hope to try it either this year or next. There are also many bed and breakfast and hotel locations throughout Speyside so just use your computer to find exactly what you are looking for and enjoy touring and pick up a bottle of Glendronach at your local liquor supplier to try out in the meantime as not to suffer too much thirst while setting up your tour. Enjoy!
The Whisky Warrior


  1. I am on a low carb diet, and as such was interested in learning how to... "acquire" the taste for whisky... What would be a more mild brand (that won't break my budget) that I could sip and enjoy? (or rather learn to enjoy)...

    Whisky for me seems like a great alternative to beer as I would not go into it intending to pound them... (I actually do not INTEND to pound the beer... but one leads to 12 leads to 18...) Beer is like that for some reason...

  2. Great question, thank you for asking:
    One great thing about scotch is that it is the lowest calorie count of all hard liquors coming in at 80 calories. Most others are between 90 and 150 so you can feel good about that. I just bought a bottle of Tobermory yesterday and on the lable it says its a great introductory whisky to the island single malts I paid about $28 for the bottle and I agree its a great beginners choice. If you want a blend I would suggest Famous Grouse which runs about 18 to 21 $ a bottle around here. Both are quite sippable. Other selections might be Glen Keith or Long Morn both good basic scotches that taste great and run somewhere between 20 and 35 $. And dont be afraid to add a bit of spring water or even ice if that makes the transition easier there is plenty of time to try your scotch several ways and see what you like the best. Please let us know what you decide and how you ejoyed the experience. I get a kick out of just going to the liquor store and looking at the latest selections which is another way to choose something in your budget. Read the label and that will tell you if it has a sherry taste or oak or peaty (smoky) taste that may offer some guidance. Enjoy!
    The Wisky Warrior