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GlenDronach Distillery

Glendronach distillery is a Scottish whisky distillery located near Forgue, by Huntly, Aberdeenshire, in the Highland whisky district. It was owned by the BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd. The name Glendronach derives from the Scottish Gaelic Gleann Dronach which means “valley of the brambles” or “valley of the blackberries”.

Inside are a traditional rake and plough mash tun, wooden washbacks and four stills which were coal fired until 2005, the last in Scotland to be heated in this way. Today there is just a quiet susurration of steam in the stillhouse, but the oddly shaped wash still and the plain sides of the spirit still cut back on reflux, helping to build weight in the spirit.

These days, ex-Sherry casks are the distillery’s signature style. Some is 100% Sherry matured, some is started in ex-Bourbon casks to pick up vanilla sweetness before being racked into ex-Sherry.

  • Owner

    GlenDronach Distillery Company

  • Status

    Operational

  • Country

    Scotland

  • Region

    Highland

  • Production type:

    Single Malt
    Unaged spirits

  • Founded

    1826

  • Production yearly

    1.400.000 Liters

History

One of a trio of distilleries in the Garioch, Glendronach was founded in 1826 by a partnership of local farmers headed by James Allardice. Under his charismatic lead, it built a strong reputation (it was on sale in London soon after its foundation) but tragedy struck in 1837 when a fire virtually destroyed the distillery. The bad news continued when Allardice went bankrupt in 1842.

His promotional activities had however stood the whisky in good stead. Seeing its potential, Walter Scott (not the author) came forward in 1852, and rebuilt the distillery into its current condition. Its next most significant owner arrived in 1920, when Capt. Charles Grant, the youngest son of William Grant of Glenfiddich, bought it. It remained with the family for 40 years when it was sold to Wm Teacher & Sons. who added a second pair of stills in 1967.

It passed into the orbit of Allied Distillers in 1976, when that firm purchased the Teacher’s estate. In 1991, it was released as two 12-year-old expressions – one aged in ex-Bourbon, one in ex-Sherry – a real innovation for the time, but the brand never received any serious backing. Placed in mothballs between 1996 and 2002, it ended up with Pernod Ricard which sold it in 2008 to The BenRiach Distilling Co.

Since then, a new visitor’s centre has been opened and a new range of single malts has been released. It is fast becoming a favourite with Sherried malt lovers globally and has built a considerable following in Taiwan.

Glendronach was purchased by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey producer Brown-Forman in 2016 along with its acquisition of The BenRiach Distillery Company.

Timeline of GlenDronach

“These days, ex-Sherry casks are the distillery’s signature style. Some is 100% Sherry matured, some is started in ex-Bourbon casks to pick up vanilla sweetness before being racked into ex-Sherry.”
GlenDronach distillery

Distillery Facts

Taste profile

Medium bodied

Medium in citrus, vanilla, and fruity notes

Medium/ High in sweetness, sherry and spices 

Dr. Rachel Berrie Master Blender

Originally trained as a chemist, Dr. Rachel Barrie has now been in the whisky industry for over 28 years. Starting her career as a researcher under the eye of legendary whisky figure Dr. Jim Swan, she then worked at Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, and Bowmore before moving to Brown Forman in 2017 to work as a master blender, charged with handling whisky creation across their then recently-acquired distilleries of GlenDronach, Benriach, and Glenglassaugh.

Core range 

At this point GlenDronach core range is: 

  • The GlenDronach Original (12 year old) 
  • The GlenDronach Revival (15 year old)
  • The GlenDronach Allardice (18 year old) 
  • The GlenDronach Parliament (21 year old) 

Bottels Archive

All the bottles released by GlenDronach sorted by year.

Started from 1826 until present. 

Also containing the single cask range 

Travel Retail

  • The GlenDronach Forgue (10 year old) 
  • The GlenDronach Boynsmill (16 year old) 

Glendronach Grandeur

  • The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 1 to Batch 12

Special & Limited Releases

  • The GlenDronach Traditionally Plated (NAS) 
  • GlenDronach Port Wood (NAS) 
  • GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11 (NAS) 
  • GlenDronach Aged 50 year old 

Cask Strength batches

GlenDronach Cask Strength Batches 1 to 12

Distillery Tours

Our Highland whiskies are recognised for their deep colour and rich flavour profiles, which range from sweet fruity flavours, from the Pedro Ximenez casks we select, to the dry and nutty notes, from superb Oloroso casks.

After a tour of our production areas and a walk through our warehouse sample three whiskies from our exquisite core range, exploring the art of sherry maturation, perfectly paired with handmade chocolate truffles to complement and expand your flavour experience.

Must be over 18 years old

DURATION:

About 1 hour

DRAMS

3 drams

COST

£25 per person
 

Delve into the rich history of sherry cask maturation, and discover how The GlenDronach has become renowned as the sherry cask connoisseurs since 1826. Allow your taste buds to be transported to the Jerez region in Andalucia, the home of sherry, with an exploration of sherry wines and cask types.

This tutored tour and tasting will explore the depth of character and flavour in our new make spirit and why it lends itself so well to exquisitely rich sherry maturation. Uncover four whiskies highlighting the range of luxurious flavours imparted throughout the maturation process, so that you too can leave a Master of Sherry.

Must be over 18 years old

DURATION:

About 1.5 hours
 
DRAMS:
4

COST

£60 per person
 

Embark on the Boynsmill Experience to learn of The GlenDronach’s rich past of charismatic custodians, challenging setbacks and triumph through dedication. The GlenDronach was an early pioneer of sherry cask maturation and we are immensely proud to delve into our distillery’s history on this experience.

Enjoy a welcome hot drink on arrival, followed by a walk-through tour of production to learn of our time honoured traditions and craftsmanship. Finally, relax and enjoy a tutored tasting from our Old and Rare Collection savoured alongside a food pairing, to complement your flavour experience.

Must be over 18 years old

DURATION:

About 2 hour

COST

£185 per person
 
Book here

Join us at The GlenDronach Visitor Centre on the 26th of January at 6:30pm.  Enjoy a welcome drink on arrival before settling down with your team for the quiz.  During the break, relax with a dram of whisky alongside Haggis, Neeps and Tatties.  We will then resume the quiz in order to crown the GlenDronach Quiz Champion.

A range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available to purchase from the bar on the night. 

26th January 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Over 18’s Only
Admission – £12.50

Book here

Visitor center 

OPENING TIMES

January – December

OPENING TIMES

DayTimes
Monday10:0016:30
Tuesday10:0016:30
Wednesday10:0016:30
Thursday10:0016:30
Friday10:0016:30
Saturday (May -Sept)10:0016:30
Sunday (May-Sept)10:0016:30

 

CONTACT DETAILS

Glendronach Distillery
Forgue by Huntley
Aberdeenshire
AB54 6DB
United Kingdom
GlenDronach social media links

Livingbythedram social media links 

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