Whisky Advocate

New whiskies (and more) from GlenDronach

December 29th, 2008

The new owners of Glendronach (they are spelling it GlenDronach) will be introducing a new line of whiskies which will include 12, 15, 18 year old and other expressions this coming March, in addition to to other enhancements to the distillery. Here’s the press release I received last week explaining everything, which was embargoed until today.


Work has started today (Monday December 29, 2008) on a £250,000 development of the GlenDronach malt whisky brand.

The Aberdeenshire distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest, was bought earlier this year by the Larbert-based BenRiach Distillery Company.

BenRiach Managing Director Billy Walker said: “This is the beginning of our strategy to re-package and re-launch GlenDronach in markets worldwide. We will take Glendronach back to how it was originally, promoting it as one of Scotland’s original sherried whiskies.”

Mr Walker and his colleagues purchased GlenDronach from Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard.

“GlenDronach is a bit of a sleeping giant and was not part of Chivas’s expansion plans,” said Regional Sales Director James Cowan. “But we have great plans for it in our markets in the UK, Germany, USA, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China, amongst others.

“We’re looking forward to breathing new life into it and giving it the attention and commitment it deserves.”

Industry veteran and Master Blender Mr Walker revealed that GlenDronach will release a new core range in March 2009 which will comprise twelve, fifteen and eighteen-year-old malts. It will also release a non-aged product, single cask bottlings and some incredibly rare vintage malts.

 Marketing Executive Kerry White said: “Tradition will play a significant role in the new branding. The current packaging, design and logo have been retained but are being enhanced with a few changes. A new proprietary bottle will also be incorporated later in 2009.”

 But a major part of the quarter million investment is the development of a new Visitor Centre at the distillery.

 Alan McConnochie, GlenDronach’s Distillery Manager, said: “We aim to create an educational and vibrant visitor attraction where both connoisseurs and those new to whisky can learn more about GlenDronach and engage more fully with the brand.

 “As part of the development, we will also be hosting corporate evenings at which guests can stay overnight at Glen House, the distillery’s country house. The package will include an evening’s stay, a special tour and master class tasting and fine dining.”

 The investment also includes a brand-new website where customers worldwide can use it as a first port of call to find out more about GlenDronach and the maturation techniques that make it so special.

“GlenDronach” is Gaelic for “the valley of the brambles” and takes its name from the Dronach Burn which winds its way through the grounds of the distillery. Founded at Forgue, Aberdeenshire, in 1826 by James Allardice, one of the original whisky entrepreneurs, GlenDronach Distillery produces a series of single malt whiskies ranging in age from twelve to thirty-three years old and currently has the capacity to produce almost one and a half million litres of whisky a year. 

6 Responses to “New whiskies (and more) from GlenDronach”

  1. Tony Menechella says:

    Hi John,
    Well I’m certainly a bit excited and intrigued by this news. I enjoy a dram or two of the 33YR annually, and personally think the standard 12YR is a nice whisky too, especially given its rather modest price when considering how prices have increased recently. Kudos to GlenDronach!!

  2. Josh Kolchins says:


    This is great news. I’ve been following the re-birth of Glendronach (oops, GlenDronach) for some time; it’s been one of my favorite whiskeys for a long time. It can be tough to find anythign more than the 12 yr old here in Washington DC so this news is all the more welcome. I can’t wait for the new bottlings.

    Happy New Year to you an all our fellow bloggers!


  3. John Hansell says:

    Tony, Josh: I am very excited about the new releases. That 33, which I too am milking a bottle of, is wonderful, and many of the younger releases over the years have also been quite good.

  4. Marcel van Wijk says:

    Hi chaps,

    Very good news indeed, looking forward to the new bottlings. The 15 yrs isn’t at hand nomore in Holland and they are very rare in the U.K. This very 15 yrs dram is magnificent, awesome. A very good sherry dram, i.m.h.o.
    Friend of mine took one last year from the north of Scotland with his honeymoon. They reach prices of about 130 Euro already.
    However the 12 yrs is still good in supply and yuo see the 33 yrs old also sometimes.

    Very glad to read this news, expectations are high!

    Warm regards, Marcel.

  5. Merse says:

    It’s great to hear that BenRiach has realized what a terrific dram The GlenDronach is and I for one will be a regular customer of the New GlenDronach owners. I have been a big fan of the Traditional, first and the 15 y.o. sherried Glendronach for years. I have only 7 btls of the 15 y.o. left in my collection and they are being consumed at a very slow pace(special occasions). I only hope the new 15 and 18 y.o. GlenDronachs, which I hear and see on the new labels are (Highly Sherried) live up to the GlenDronach of the past. I wish all the best to the new owners for the future and hope that we here in Canada will get a few bottles of “The GlenDronach” a true (“Amber Gem” in an ocean of gold) here on our shores in the very near future…Merse

    • John Hansell says:

      Merse, we sure have been blessed over the years with many different expressions. One of my favorites was a 19 year old sherried one with a blue label that was for the U.S. market many years ago. The 33 year old was pretty good too! I’m looking forward to the new stuff.

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