Rachel was in Singapore recently to launch the coveted GlenDronach ‘Revival’ 15 Year Old, which was previously discontinued in 2015. During the announcement of its withdrawal from the market, consumers rushed to their local whisky store or website to purchase as many bottles possible. As it was unavailable after, the prices of existing bottles went for as high as £160 when it used to be sold at about £60.
Thus, when the Glendronach ‘Revival’ returned this year, consumers were delighted. We interviewed Rachel to ask her about the whiskey’s winemaking process.
CWA: What kind of food pairing would you recommend with the Glendronach Aged Revival 15 Years Old?
RB: Glendronach 15 years old Revival pairs extremely well with melt-in-the-mouth venison (or quality game) served with a chocolate and wine jus, or paired with crème-brulee desert and fine chocolate.
CWA: How would you describe the Revival 15 Years Old’s flavour profile?
RB: With the fine taste of maraschino cherry, manuka honey, dark chocolate and espresso, Glendronach 15 years old Revival glides over the palate with a swathe of silk-velvet, leaving a rich and elegant long finish.
CWA: What was the winemaking process like?
RB: Every drop is more than 15 years old, with some older stock included. The whisky is matured predominantly in Pedro Ximenez casks from Andalucia, known as the ‘King’ of sherry casks, giving an intense dark fruit sweetness with dark chocolate. In addition, some of the whisky is matured in Oloroso sherry casks, giving a drier, nuttier taste to balance out the sweetness.
CWA: What expectations did you have for the Revival 15 Years Old?
RB: In the pursuit of perfection, I have great belief that Revival 15 years old is the pinnacle of single malt perfection at 15 years old, balancing sweet and dry, elegance and hearty body, and finesse with an exquisite long finish. Although just launched, Revival 15 years old has already won the highest accolade of Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards
CWA: Was there any inspiration behind the process of winemaking?
RB: I was inspired by the exquisite elegance of the saxophone-shaped stills, and the fine dining room at Glen House, the Georgian house built on the grounds of Glendronach distillery. At 15 years old, the whisky reaches the peak of elegance and refinement, whilst also deepening in body and taste, much like the beautiful notes from a tenor saxophone. This duality was something I wanted to capture, perfecting an elegant yet deep and richly satisfying taste
CWA: What were some of the difficulties you faced during winemaking?
RB: The opportunities are in selecting casks and fine-tuning the composition for perfection. In this pursuit, much time is spent assessing each cask and deciding to leave it alone or transfer the whisky to another cask to complete its maturation. The challenge is that every cask is different, and needs to be nurtured with a vision of its contribution to the final composition. This takes time and patience to consider and plan, before the final composition is constructed.