Watches & Whisky: GlenDronach + Audemars Piguet


Regal: The GlenDronach distillery, in Speyside, was built in 1825 that was originally led by one James Allardice. GlenDronach are well-known for producing some of the most beautiful sweet sherried style Scotch Whisky on the market today, largely owed in part to Billy Walker (Master Distiller). While GlenDronach has made a name for itself, it has long been the key to Teacher’s blends. As mentioned before, GlenDronach are very well-known for producing Scotch matured in ex-sherry Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez casks, which give rich, sweet and creamy notes. The GlenDronach 18-year-old has been named after the renowned founder of the distillery, James Allardice. This exceptional sherried single malt, matured in the finest Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, is non-chill filtered and like all GlenDronach drams, is of natural colour, richly sherried malt is truly unforgettable.

On the nose: there is an initial waft of dark chocolates, fudge and mixed fruits. This is closely followed by oranges, raisins, vanilla and a suggestion of zest. Light notes of spices start to emerge in the form of cinnamon, alongside some inviting herbaceous notes. Rounding off the nose is a hint of black grapes, honey and walnuts. On the palate: those mixed fruit notes nosed are ever-present, followed up by that luxurious dark chocolate. There are notes of mixed fruits, marzipan, raisins and a nutty note of walnuts that start to emerge. There is a lovely suggestion of Morello cherries, coupled with oranges, leather, cinnamon, all-spices and toasted oats. The finish: is long, dry and sweet, with lingering smoke, peppery spices and oak.

The verdict: This GlenDronach 18-year-old scotch is, in my opinion, sublime. The 12yo was special and is a beautiful entry scotch into the GlenDronach sherried core range. With a seductive array of notes that just keep unfolding that have been finely balanced, this richly sherried 18yo ‘Allardice’ GlenDronach malt is truly unforgettable.

Info: ABV 46% in a 70cl bottle

Royal: The Royal Oak is perhaps one of the most distinctive watches around. With its masculine octagonal shape, exposed screws and integrated bracelet, it is easy to recognise from afar. But more importantly, the watch is a legend for pioneering the use of stainless steel in haute horlogerie, thanks to a watch designer, Gerald Genta, whom was inspired by the porthole of a naval ship. Though back in 1971 when this inspiration led to the Royal Oak, Mr. Genta wasn’t yet the household name it is today.

The SIHH 2017 AP Royal Oak Extra-Thin ‘Jumbo’ reference 15202 in 18-carat yellow-gold is much of the same, which is why it is still so popular and also why it is timeless. It is the same iconic and dependable watch it was 40 years ago, of course with a few tweaks here and there. I think the most interesting fact here about this new 15202 is that this is the first time the ‘Jumbo’ is making an appearance in yellow-gold in some 20 plus years – something that is easily forgotten.

The Audemars Piguet 15202BA features the all familiar petite tappiserie dial, which is one of my favourite aspects of the Royal Oak. The ability for the dial to reflect off different gradients based on different light sources is a joy to look at and it is further emphasised by the warmth of the gold case. That said, the biggest news from the Le Brassus based watch manufacturer is the new pairing of the yellow-gold case with blue petite tappiserie dial.

Good design is timeless but this element alone isn’t enough the brand also has to believe in the timelessness of the product too and this is something Audemars Piguet have always done, hence its popularity and longevity.