Both Glengoyne 12-year and 10-year appear to be on the US market at the same time, which is a little odd. Usually distilleries stick to one of the classic “flagship” ages. The 12 retails for $10-$15 more than the 10, and my review of the 12 shows that I appreciated that one as budget sherry bomb. This 10 year-old (which is the only one of the two I can find near me) is the same bottling strength (43%), also has no added coloring, and also…
GlenDronach The Hielan’ is an 8 year-old ‘Dronach that only seems to retail in the UK. The whisky comes from a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, which makes me think it’s an attempt to compete with a number of “double cask” expressions proliferating on the market such as The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year. It seems odd to me to compete with a popular $40 whisky by releasing a $40 whisky that is 4 years younger, but nobody asked me.
The Duthac is named after the medieval St. Duthac and intended to honor the annual pilgrimage of King James IV to his shrine near the distillery in Tain. This contrived story is probably intended to justify the marketing phrase, “A whisky fit for a king.” A king flying coach, I suppose. The whisky is a no-age-statement (NAS) bottling of Glenmorangie finished partially in PX (Pedro Ximénez) sherry casks, and part in charred virgin oak…
Glencadam’s 15 year-old expression, like most of its releases, is aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks to retain the distillery character. The whisky is not chill-filtered and has no added coloring, and is bottled (now) at 46% ABV. It was named Whisky of the Year by Ralfy in 2017, which caused a supply crunch.
GlenDronach’s 21 year-old bottling from the official distillery lineup is aged in a combination of PX (Pedro Ximenez) and oloroso sherry casks. (Note that is “aged” not “finished” – this whisky sat for a full 21 years in barrels previously containing sherry.) Hilariously enough in the current political climate, this whisky is not in fact named after the British Parliament, but rather for the “parliament” of rooks that nest in the trees overlooking the distillery. It is bottled at 48% ABV and without chill filtration or added coloring.
Dailuaine is known as a component in Johnnie Walker blends, which is where the vast majority of the output from the distillery’s three wash and three spirit stills goes. This particular 16 year-old was matured in ex-sherry casks, although I can’t find any details (Full-term maturation? Finish?). Diageo is, as usual, tight-lipped about production details. Bottled at 43% ABV, probably chill-filtered, and likely colored.
There is a wild raging debate on the Internet about the actual source of Alexander Murray & Co.’s big-age, low-price malts. Some rumors suggest that the majority of the company’s barrels come from Tullibardine (a whisky chameleon of sorts), while the company has definitely bottled Macallan before, and is reported to have contracts with both Diageo and Edrington.
Wolfburn Aurora was released in 2016 from 3 year-old Wolfburn malt aged in a variety of casks. Reportedly, this means 40% of the whisky was aged in second-fill quarter casks, 40% in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, and the remaining 20% in first-fill Oloroso sherry hogsheads.
The GlenDronach 18-year is named after the 1826 founder of the distillery, James Allardes. It is aged for 18 years exclusively in Spanish oloroso sherry casks, and bottled at 46% ABV without chill-filtration or added coloring. This has more deep, dark, concentrated dry fruit than I’ve ever experienced in a single malt. I’m not sure that’s actually a good thing. …
Yet another of Diageo’s stable of “blending fodder” – some malt distilled at Lochnagar finds its way into Johnnie Walker (Blue, in particular) and Vat 69, but the majority of Diageo’s smallest distillery (smallest in output, that is) is now bottled as a single malt, including a Distiller’s Edition finished in Moscatel casks and an NAS Selected Reserve edition aged in sherry casks.