In Their Own Words – Stewart Buchanan, Glendronach

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Glendronach brand ambassador Stewart Buchanan led a great masterclass at this year’s Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in which he delved into the distillery’s past and showed various drams from yesteryear as well as more modern bottlings. This is what he had to say:

Stewart Buchanan

Stewart Buchanan, brand ambassador for Glendronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh

‘Anyone who knows Glendronach will say it’s “sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry”, but it wasn’t always that way – we used to use bourbon barrels, too

‘We were the last coal-fired distillery in Scotland – we removed the coal fires in 2005’

‘Glendronach means “valley of the brambles”

Glendronach has a lovely oily nature to the spirit, and there’s also a delicious stewed-barley element, too. ‘In Alfred Barnard’s The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom which was published in the 1880s, he described Glendronach 8 Year Old as “like a brandy liqueur”, and people do tell me that Glendronach has a Cognac-like feel to it’

‘You can fill 100 oloroso sherry casks and leave them to age, and in one of them the whisky will be as light as tea, while the whisky in another will be as dark as Coca-Cola! Some of the oloroso casks we buy are more than 80 years old and they give great complexity’

Glendronach Distillery

Glendronach is known for its big, rich style, accentuated by maturation in ex-sherry casks

We don’t have much of the 33 Year Old left. We’ve only got about three bottles. [Former head honcho] Billy Walker wasn’t happy with us because we drank one of them one day!’

‘A grapefruit note is a great sign of an old, vintage whisky

‘I’m very conscious that what we’re making now, people will be drinking in 40 years’ time

You know life is good when you’re sitting in an armchair with a glass of Glendronach 18 Year Old in your hand’

Posted in In Their Own Words, Scotch Whisky, WHISKY & WHISKEY
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