We were really quite excited and intrigued when this new Glendronach 8 Year Old came in. It’s an interesting move from Glendronach, as many people could perceive 8 year old whisky as being too young. It is currently the only below 10 year old, standard range bottling from a distillery we can think of. That and it isn’t an NAS whisky.
1. 8 year old whisky is too young
Not the case. As whisky ages in oak, it takes on flavour from the oak, develops some other flavours and some flavours are lost. But many whisky drinkers quite like younger whisky, as it shows more of the distillery character, and more whisky notes. If whisky is left in a fresh, full flavoured cask for too long, the whisky’s house style can be overpowered.
In fact, 8 year old whisky used to be considered a luxury in the 1960’s and 70’s. It could be argued that it was only due to the industry having too much stock in the 80’s, that has caused this emphasis on whisky being 10 years and older.
2. It’s not an NAS
This is an interesting move. With the whisky industry struggling to keep up with demand, many distillers are releasing Non Age Statement whisky. To call your product whisky, it has to be a minimum of 3 years in oak, but you don’t have to state the age. If you do state the age, that age has to refer to the youngest cask used (so a distiller could mix in some 30 year old malt with some 6 year old malt, but if they stated an age, it would have to be 6 years). NAS allows distillers to use younger casks, that perhaps have more flavour, but could potentially put consumers off the product because of their age. If Macallan, Glenlivet or Glenfiddich were to release a 5 year old, they may fear that the age statement would put people off, even if the 5 year old casks tasted amazing.
3. It is the only under 10 year old official range bottling we can think of
If you can think of any, please comment.
4. It tastes old fashioned and shows off Glendronach’s house style
General feedback from our shops, and reviews online, is that it tastes like a whisky from the 60’s/70’s. Oily notes, oaky notes, charred notes. A good bit of flavour from the base spirit. Although we really enjoy older Glendronach, sometimes the sherry casks they use can overpower the house style. This is not the case with this bottling. Glendronach 8 The Hielan’
Matured in Oloroso Casks, Pedro Ximinez Casks & Bourbon Casks
Buy it here for £33.95
Nose: Malty, charred oak, bit of spice and toasted peanut notes.
Palate: Meaty, chocolaty, oily with a big burst of almond and charred wood on the finish. A dash of white chocolate too. Definitely worth a look for those who want to get to know Glendronach’s style.