Fragrant Drops Glasgow 5yo Cask #193 & Fragrant Drops Port Dundas 23yo Cask #305542


Today we're looking at two single casks, a closed grain distillery alongside a new kid on the block, both bottled by Fragrant Drops.

Fragrant Drops Glasgow 5yo Cask #193 

Region: Lowlands

ABV: 61.1%

Price: £70.00 

This bottling was distilled on the 5th of August 2018 and left to mature for five years in a first-fill bourbon barrel before being bottled on the 15th of May 2024. A total of 232 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose opens with fizzy lemonade, a little lime zest, artificial green apple sweeties, it’s got a very effervescent nose, Albariño wine, a little green grape too. We’re also impressed with the alcohol balance, it doesn’t feel over 60% at all. Going back, we’re getting sherbet, orange marmalade, vanilla bon bons and a little fudge too. It’s super sweet, but not cloyingly so.

Palate

The palate opens with malt loaf, cocoa beans, candied ginger, moving into kafir lime leaf, milk chocolate and some flamed orange peel. The alcohol is showing a little more here, but it’s still in reasonable balance. The mouthfeel is good, slightly creamy, and the finish lingers on for a good length, a bit of green apple skin, fudge, and supermarket waffles. Going back, we’re getting some poached pear in white wine now, and we’re finding the youthfulness of the spirit slightly more apparent, however there’s enough going on to mask this.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose is slightly more acidic, a little apple cider vinegar alongside the lime we got before. We’re also getting mild kiwi aromas, alongside the apple and pear we got before. It’s less of a synthetic sweetness now, more natural sugars for us.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate feels more juicy, perhaps a little less viscous but more fresh juiced apples, limes and lemons. Very fresh, with a slightly spicy backbone. The finish lingers on for the same good length as before, continuing with the sweeter fruits.

Conclusion

We’re incredibly surprised this is 5 years old, blown away. It’s full of lovey sweetie notes, but isn’t too sweet. It’s not particularly complex, but this is one of those drams that we keep coming back to. Very quaffable. We’ve not had too many expressions from Glasgow distillery, but this has far surpassed all of them for us.

Score: 8/10

Value

This is reasonably priced compared to other releases from the distillery.


Fragrant Drops Port Dundas 23yo Cask #305542

Region: Lowlands

ABV: 52.9%

Price: ~£7.00 / dram

This bottling was distilled on the 10th of October 2000 and left to mature for 23 years in a refill bourbon hogshead before being bottled on the 9th of May 2024. A total of 160 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose opens with chantilly cream, a little lemon peel, menthol, white chocolate buttons, with a bit of mild almond and hazelnut in the background. There alcohol feels in balance, ABV-wise, however we tend to get quite a lot of raw grain spirit coming through on most Port Dundas’s that we try. Going back, there’s some Gaia melon and a little stale sponge cake too.

Palate

The palate opens with similar white chocolate notes, mild white pepper, a little artificial lemon juice, something slightly green too, eucalyptus maybe? The mouthfeel is nice, there’s a sugar syrup consistency to it, and the finish does last for a medium length, mostly oak spice and that aforementioned neutral grain spirit note. Going back, we’re finding a little fudge, more chocolate, it’s morphed into milk chocolate now, and some mild ground ginger.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has a much richer, caramel and toffee forward aroma, a few drops has really opened this up. It’s considerably sweeter, and a lot of that rougher grain spirit has fallen into the background. There’s also some milk chocolate coming through too.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate maintains the syrup-like mouthfeel, and similar flavours of vanilla fudge, a little biscoff spread, and a mild nuttiness come through. We do prefer a few drops of water in this, brings a bit of a richer flavour out whilst mellowing some of the peppery spice.

Conclusion

We do love old grain whisky, but for us Port Dundas as a spirit feels like it has more of a harsh, neutral alcohol aroma and flavour than other grain distilleries. This cask has good balance though and some nice cask influence giving the creamy, sweet vanilla notes that we enjoy. A few drops of water really helps this to open up. We’ll go with 6.5/10, but will say that we prefer this to the sister cask released last year by Fragrant Drops.

Score: 6.5/10

Value

We didn’t catch the bottle price for this, but at £7 a dram we can’t complain.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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