Review #536. SMWS 96.9 Icy Chilly 8yr GlenDronach Refill Barrel

Review #536 | /r/Scotch Review #191 – Scotch Malt Whisky Society 96.9 – The GlenDronach 8yr

The Schtick: “Icy – Chilly”. This is an 8yr cask from GlenDronach that is matured in a refill barrel and bottled at cask strength. I don’t usually remark on color because it matters so little in the current landscape of whiskey, but my notes point out that this is “hella pale.”


Distiller: GlenDronach (Speyside)

Bottler: SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society)

ABV: 59.1% ABV

Age: 8 Years

Distilled: June 2007

Outturn: #150

Release: November 2016

Maturation: Refill barrel

Source: Sample


Nose: Honey, fruity. Super floral and loaded with lots of sweet perfumey notes. It’s also very sweet, almost like walking into a Krispie Kreme franchise when that big ol’ sign is a glowin’. Thick, rich, sugary syrup notes with lemon icing, honey dew, orange peel and nice pepperiness.

Taste: Sulfur and pepper briefly lead the charge here, followed by the sugar brigade. It’s super bright and fruity, lots of lemon, apple, pear, orange, date fruit with nice creaminess and almost an icewine likeness. The youth is definitely prominent and there is some astringent bite, but it’s not too overbearing. Heads may roll for this, but this totally reminds me of the Cutty Sark profile without completely sucking – that bright, sweet fruity floral essence but without all that grain to bring it down.

Finish: Long, sweet and fruity. Astringency growing a hair here, but I imagine that is the youth and high proof showing through.

Overall: This was really, crazy unique. Like hella (is that what the kids are saying these days?). It’s bright and complex and really overpoweringly sweet and fruity. I really enjoyed it, but with that some of the heat and astringency were tamed. I’d love to try this exact barrel with a couple more years age on it, but I know that’s not a reality.

Thanks for reading!

Rank: 6

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Decoded:

1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite

10 | Perfect | Perfect


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