In Scotch-making, many a liquid is matured in sherry butts—large, 500-liter casks, which were formerly filled with the famed fortified wine of Spain. Along the way, these malts tend to extract a nutty richness, with flavors of dark chocolate and fruit, leather, and even touches of tobacco. If the whisky is especially expressive of these notes it’s deemed a “sherry bomb.” And whisky enthusiasts tend to go gaga for the stuff. None of this is news to you if you’re a fan of The GlenDronach. The legendary malt maker of the Scottish Highlands is revered for its generously sherried stock. And its latest limited-edition release, Grandeur Batch 11, is nothing short of explosive.
“Grandeur Batch 11 is an unparalleled range of the finest aromas and character from masterful Spanish oak sherry cask maturation,” according to its master blender Rachel Barrie. “It offers a symphony of sherry aromatics interwoven with dark manuka
honey, roasted almond, and walnut. It’s intense and full-bodied, as is the signature of The GlenDronach, with a crescendo of black cherry and espresso adorning each mouthful.”
Now, you might be thinking she’s a bit biased considering she made the stuff and is at least partially responsible for selling it. But Barrie truly isn’t overplaying her hand here. This really is an exquisite specimen, one which sends your senses on a journey. Sugar plum fairies flutter toward your nose as it’s poured. Upon the palate, it confidently proclaims all the dark fruit hallmarks of the house style. Then it hangs on in the back of the mouth with roasted espresso and the warming spice of tobacco leaf.
Bottled at 48.9% ABV, it possesses finesse and fortitude in equal measure. To find that balance, Barrie assembled a cadre of some of her finest casks—matured for a minimum of 28 years in either ex-Pedro Ximénez or Olroso sherry butts.
The resulting ruby-hued juice is also a joy to look at, sitting in individually numbered decanters, which are sealed in gold wax. It’s currently available in U.S. markets for a suggested retail price of $800 per bottle.
If you’re into sherry bombs, you’ll want to grab this one before it blows up. As you might have gathered from the name of the release, this is only the 11th time we’ve seen Grandeur in the distillery’s 196-year-history.