When former BenRiach managing director Billy Walker and his partners purchased The GlenAllachie in 2017, they changed the course of the Speyside unit drastically. Whereas almost all of The GlenAllachie’s considerable output was sold to blenders in the past, the distillery introduced four original bottlings to its portfolio in the year after the change of ownership – spanning 10 to 25 years in age and 46 to 57.1 per cent in ABV. A couple of months later, The GlenAllachie produced another ace from its sleeve, namely a variety single cask releases (eight of which were exclusively offered within the UK). From these limited edition whiskies, I purchased a 2007 Vintage that was entirely matured in a port pipe. Clocking in at 60 per cent ABV, this 11-year-old Scotch is definitely not for the feint-hearted. Especially in the beginning, it seems hard to tame without the addition of more than just a few drops of water. Fans of boisterous malts with a distinct cask influence will surely have a lot of fun with this high percentage offering from Billy Walker and his team.
Nose: A full nose with lush caramel, sugar and pastry. Then a flood of red and yellow fruits: strawberries, raspberries, peaches and the likes. Marzipan adds sweetness, while orange peel creates a somewhat festive vibe. Every now and then, the high ABV also shows. Over all, there hangs a thin layer of old library dust – a note I often find in spirits drawn from port casks.
Palate: There is a lot going on in this vigorous Speysider. First, it coats the mouth with warm bramble sauce and thick toffee. Then softer notes of stewed fruits follow. Oak, grapes and spices join in. Further back, there also lingers some fresh-cut vanilla.
Finish: Ohh, now comes the fruit. The aftertaste is long-lasting and well-defined with an abundance of sugared plums, stewed apples and burnt raisins. Towards the end, the whisky also develops a mouthwatering chocolate note.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 11 years
Alc. volume: 50 per cent
# of bottles: 804
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~90.00 Euro
More info: https://www.theglenallachie.com/ (Distillery)