GlenDronach Rob Roy cocktail, steeped in tradition yet spirited with folk lore

GlenDronach Rob Roy cocktail , photo by Cristine Struble
GlenDronach Rob Roy cocktail , photo by Cristine Struble /

While a Manhattan might be a more commonly drank cocktail, it is time to sip on a GlenDronach Rob Roy cocktail. Although the story behind both the spirit and the cocktail might take a good evening to unravel, the reality is that the pair are quite inspired together.

Whiskey drinkers have many options on the shelf. From American made spirits to Irish favorites, drinkers can be rolling in the barrels of that amber liquor for decades. While each brand has a story, flavor tends to set them apart.

GlenDronach is an esteemed Scottish liquor that dates back to 1826. As one of the oldest Scottish distilleries, the brand is known for one very specific attribute, sherry casks.

This Scottish whiskey is matured in “Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks from Andalucía.” While that designation might not seem significant to the casual drinker, the whiskey aficionado appreciates the flavors that a sherry cask can embark. The fortified wine casks instill layers of flavor that aren’t often seen in some other Scottish liquors.

When enjoyed on its own, the GlenDronach has that sweetness that a drinker appreciates from the sherry cask. With a touch of oak and a sense of creaminess, the liquor invites the drinker to sit a spell and enjoy the story as it unfolds. From a hint of spice from the ginger to a little nuttiness on the finish, the first sip will never be your last. More importantly, it is a story that you will want to retell time and again.

Why make a GlenDronach Rob Roy?

When was the last time that you had a Rob Roy cocktail? While many people happily order a Manhattan or even a Side Car, this particular cocktail does not refer to a television character or a restaurant chain.

Although the story with the cocktail’s name varies as much as the legend that it supposedly invokes, in some ways that folk hero song heard on a Broadway stage seems to season the cocktail itself. Not every Rob Roy hits the perfect note. But when it does, the cocktail is spectacular.

Recently, Drams With Becky shared her take on a GlenDronach Rob Roy. While she appreciates the classic cocktail, the reality is that the simplicity of the sip invites a great whiskey to the glass, hence the using of the iconic Scottish spirit.

While the ingredients to this cocktail are basically GlenDronach, a good vermouth (usually a sweeter one), bitters and a cherry (a good cherry, not that one from your kids’ Shirley Temple), it feels more complex. In many ways, those layers are from the whiskey.

As the ingredients are stirred over ice, the slightly chilled cocktail melds the flavors. When poured into the coupe glass, the first sip satisfies yet leads you back for another. With flavors unfolding, the stories start to roll off the tongue. Although this is a Scottish whiskey, the gift of gab and the ability to spin a good yarn might be too tempting to let pass by.

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Next time, instead of ordering another Manhattan or three fingers of another caramel colored liquor, consider ordering a GlenDronach Rob Roy. It might be a story for you to tell time and again.