Glendronach is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland, being just the second to be granted a distilling licence after the excise act in 1823. Like many distilleries it had a long tradition of illegal distilling taking place on the site before it went legit. Apparently the reason these illegal activities were able to go on so long is that a parliament of rooks had made their home in the distillery. If any customs officers tried to raid the distillery, they’d disturb the rooks who would make a huge racket and alert the distillers who could then cover up their tracks. The rooks are still there, and it’s said that as long as they hang around the distillery, the whisky made inside will be top-notch. Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 10 is aged in Oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and bottled at a cask strength of a face-punching 58.6%. It has a nose of coffee, chocolate, dried fruits and gingerbread. The palate is full and rich with dark chocolate, citrus, black pepper and stewed fruits. The finish has tobacco, leather, blackberry jam and walnuts.