Hidden away in the north-east corner of Scotland, the Forgue valley is a little-known place, with a quiet bucolic way of life. The wind rustles the barley, the frequent rains feed the Dronach Burn, and life carries on much as it has for the last two hundred years.
One of the major changes to occur in this area since the early nineteenth century, however, is the legitimization of the distilling process that has turned this part of Scotland from a hotbed of illicit stills, to a powerhouse for the global whisky market. The Forgue valley lies almost on the boundary between the Highland and Speyside regions, and has been home to the GlenDronach Distillery – revered for its strong sherried flavors, all rich Christmas spiced fruits and rich earthy woody notes, since 1826.
From this stable of fine malts come two new expressions – one is a first for the brand; and the other marks the return of an old favorite:
First, the new launch: the travel retail exclusive, GlenDronach Forgue 10-year-old. Created by master blender, Rachel Barrie and matured in a mixture of Pedro Ximinez and Olorosso casks, Forgue is bright with hay-like notes on the nose. On the palate it gives the sweet spice and damp earth of a barley field after the harvest, before finishing with a hint of orange, tobacco and nutmeg.
But let’s not forget the return of the legend: the GlenDronach Revival 15-year-old. After a three-year hiatus due to a lack of stock, the highly regarded 15-year-old returns to the GlenDronach range. Also, aged in a combination of Olorosso and Pedro Ximinez casks, it has notes of ‘ripe dark fruits and manuka honey’ and a ‘chocolate mint finish’.
Barrie welcomed the ‘revival of the Revival’, saying “Today marks the return of…an iconic aged expression of critical acclaim, revered by connoisseurs around the globe.” She added that “Over fifteen years in the darkness of our dunnage warehouses, the spirit has grown in stature, refinement and intensity”.
The GlenDronach Forgue, 10-year-old single malt Highland whisky. 43%, $77. Travel retail exclusive.
The GlenDronach Revival, 15-year-old single malt Highland whisky. 46%, $80. Global release.