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‘GlenDronach Time’ Session #4 : Dessert Wine finishes–Sauternes & Moscatel

9 March 2011 1,334 views Written by: Gal Granov

We’re continuing the GlenDronach time sessions with yet another wine finish session. Not only one type of wine cask finish, but two different types of casks. The first is Sauternes, and the second Moscatel (or Muscatel). I’ve tasted a few Sauternes finishes in the past year, and one of my favourites is of course the Glenmorangie ‘Nectar D’or’ Sauternes finished, a lovely dram that in my opinion is the best in the Glenmorangie finishes range. As for Moscatel, I’ve yet to sample a whisky finished in that type of cask, and i was really intrigued to find out how it would be.

GlenDronach 14 year old Sauternes finish, 46% ABV, £40


Nose: Sweet, juicy and luscious. Apricots, Wild Berries, and honeysuckle. Some Wininess, reminds me of ice wine, with fruits dipped in it. a Very scrumptious and sexy nose. no doubt about it. Sauternes, we love you.

Palate: Sweet, sultanas dipped in liqueur, Chocolate fudge, the fruits hit you on the second wave. Clear Desert wine notes going on here (not a real surprise eh?) . A very rewarding and lush palate.

Finish :Sweet, milk chocolate, and fruits(sultanas,sweet berries) that linger.

Bottom line:

I very sweet, desert time whisky. will make your mouth water, it’s so chwey sweet, and fruity. a realy lovely Sauternes finish, very different from other Sauternes finishes we’ve tried recently.

Score : 86/100


GlenDronach 15yo , Moscatel Finish , 46% ABV, £41


Nose: Sweet fruits in syrup, stewed apricots, and dried figs, and some dates, all engulfed in vanilla custard.  some wet wood notes as well. A real "Tu bishvat" dram. delicious.

Palate : Sweet fruity melange with spice(cinnamon, cloves), vanilla seeds, crisp. Oily mouth feel , really mouth coating feeling, warm and engulfing.

Finish : Spicy, sweet, some wood and ending on sweet chocolate fudge.

Bottom line:

Yummy, sweet, even better than the Sauternes. I like this one a lot.

Score : 87/100

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  • http://whiskybrother.com Marc (WhiskyBrother)

    I’ve never seen this before. Are they part of the core range or are they limited releases? They both sound fantastic. Judging by the colour of the whisky in the images, and the fact it’s finished in a casks that provide a lot of sweetness, I’m assuming the spirit wasn’t matured in ex-sherry casks as is customary at GlenDronach?

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Those are part of the core line. there is also the Tawny port finish (20 yo) i will review tomorrow which is even more brilliant than those two.
      very good finish IMHO.
      AFAIK those were aged in Ex-sherry prior to the finishing. from their site:

      “Sauternes Wood Finish expression was initially matured in European oak and thereafter finished its maturation in a very small batch of Sauternes wine barrels, which have given the whisky its own unique flavours and aromas” >> http://glendronachdistillery.com/products/sauternes14yo.php

      • http://whiskybrother.com Marc (WhiskyBrother)

        Very interesting. Is any of the ex-sherry cask notes still detectable – spiciness, etc? Unless they are using 2nd or 3rd fill ex-sherry? Any idea how long the finishing period is?

        • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

          Tried finding this out, it’s a few months. they dont really disclose how many.

        • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

          as it seems, they are indeed using Ex-Bourbon casks.

  • Yoav

    my mouth is all water from reading that!