Glendronach Parliament has capped their standard lineup since it was refreshed. I initially intended to add it to my earlier review, but neglected it for long enough that the miniature had gone bad by the time I got to it. So I was glad to be able to get a fresher sample from Whiskysite.nl to finally give it some proper attention.
Unlike the younger Revival and Allardice expressions (until the 15 Year's refresh), this included PX casks alongside the more standard oloroso sherry casks. Was that the result of weaker casks being reracked to give them more punch? Or just to sweeten whisky that was getting tannic? The final result was also given a lift by being bottled at 48% instead of 46%, giving it a little more heft, as always without coloring or chill filtration.
Glendronach 21 Year Parliament
Nose: a heavy overlay of rather dry sherry, savory tannic oak, sweet malt and vanilla underneath, cinnamon, lime, lightly floral. After adding a few drops of water the sherry becomes creamier, nuttier, and a little sweeter (more PX influence?), while the malt and vanilla become more prominent.
Taste: opens with sweet and sour sherry, nutty cherry notes in the middle, bittersweet at the back with sweeter sherry and dry oak tannins. After dilution the flavors come into focus with brighter sherry and darker oak, some fizzy/peppery notes come out from the middle back, and there are some tropical fruit overtones throughout.
Finish: sweet sherry, oak tannins, nutty malt, umami/savory notes
While this is clearly older than Allardice, the oak has become a bit too tannic. There is some compensation in complexity, especially on the nose and the flavors with a little dilution (which makes me wonder what this would have been like bottled at 46% to begin with), but the overall results don't grab me, especially given the 50% bump in price. As always, both my wallet and I are perfectly happy to prefer the cheaper whisky.
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