Rockin’ All Over The World

Taste Review #50 – GlenAllachie 15

At the time of writing this, I’m in Poland visiting family, and God knows where I’ll be when this eventually gets published, which by my reckoning will be somewhere around March. And being in Poland at this time of year takes me back to this time last year when I was in Krakow and decided to start Scotty’s Drams. The only thing that bums me out is that I don’t have a sample of the dram I was drinking when I decided to go for an amateur career in whisky blogging. Suffice to say I haven’t reviewed it yet, but its time will come!

GlenAllachie has already been reviewed this past 12 months, but it was the 12 year old I tried, and that has a solid thumbs up! It was when on my journey of whisky geekery in early October last year that I obtained a sample of the recently released 15 year old after making a purchase from one of my preferred friendly whisky shops. Since it has been in my possession, it has travelled around a bit within Scotland but I’ve never had the chance to sit down and try it. Now my daughter is in bed, I am now free to imbibe this drample.

I’m not going to write much more about the distillery, as I did that in review #16 which you can see here – GlenAllachie 12. There is a bit more about the distillery there.

What I can say is, that even in the short time that Billy Walker has been at GlenAllachie, he has built up an impressive reputation in what was an anonymous blend fodder distillery for Chivas Brothers. The 15 year old slots into the GlenAllachie core range with the 10 (CS), 12, 18 and 25 year old releases.

Anyway, less reading, more sipping! Let’s get down to the tasting.

Travel Veteran Dram. Finally got time to taste it!

Region

Speyside

Age

15 years

Strength

46% abv

Colour

Golden Mahogany

Nose

Vanilla, raisins, banana, honey, a dairy note of plain yoghurt or sour cream. Nutmeg.

Palate

Ohh. A strong tobacco note on first taste. On second taste a noted sourness develops, grapefruit. Leather, spicy wood, caramel, almost gingery. The sourness disappeared with the addition of water, and much more sweetness came out, with more dried fruits and a creamy toffee.

Finish

Medium to long. Quite peppery, as though I’ve just chewed a pink peppercorn, with the resultant fruity flavours. The sourness continues and it fades into sweetness. I’m getting cinnamon and ginger, almost like Irn Bru. Very eventful finish indeed.

The Dram

Conclusion

Well, the purpose of free samples is to try and get you to buy more, and in this case I’ll say it has worked. I did really like this whisky, and I will be buying one once I have finished with the 12 year old GlenAllachie I currently have open. I have to say that compared to the 12, this one was not so instantly enjoyable and it took me 3 or four sips to start recognising flavours. The sourness was a surprise, as this has been finished in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. PX is a sweet sherry and Oloroso is a fruity sherry, and I think that I just picked up the Oloroso first. The addition of water really smoothed things out.

Applying the ABCD, this scores 4/4, as it is non chill filtered, no colouring, 46% and has an age statement. A great sherry bomb whisky which I can fully recommend.

RRP on this bottle is £62.99, but you can pick it up cheaper online. Don’t forget though you will have P&P to add though, so do what I did and go to a friendly local specialist whisky shop. You may get a wee sample while there to light your way to a new discovery!

Thanks to Kat at The Whisky Shop Dufftown for my sample. You were right, it was lovely! Pop in see their selection, or browse and shop online at www.whiskyshopdufftown.com.

Slainte Mhath!

Scotty

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Get Your Rocks Off!

Taste Review #16 – GlenAllachie 12

The Glenallachie distillery is a relatively well kept secret on Speyside. Or should I say was a well kept secret on Speyside, as given its new owner, I’d be surprised if this distillery stays on the down-low.

Glenallachie is the anglicised version of the Scots Gaelic ‘Gleann Aileachaidh’ which means ‘Valley of The Rocky Place’. Sitting in the shadow of Ben Rinnes and its granite torrs, the snow meltwater from this hill is what is used to feed the production of this whisky, so the name is quite fitting!

This is a relatively new distillery, given its neighbours in a wee pocket to the south of Aberlour – Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Aberlour and the former Imperial distillery, which is now the new kid on the block – Dalmunach. Glenallachie was built in 1967, and was last in the hands of Pernod Ricard for supplying malt whisky for blending. This was until the purchase in 2017 by the GlenAllachie Distillery Company, a trio of business people who include renowned distiller Billy Walker. Those familiar with the world of Scotch whisky should have no need of an introduction of Mr Walker, formerly part of a business partnership which owned BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries. These were sold in 2016 to Brown-Foreman, the parent company of Jack Daniels.

The current core range is of 10, 12, 18 and 25 year old bottlings. So let’s move onto the taste review of this single malt.

The sample

Region

Speyside

Age

12 Years

Strength

46% a.b.v

Colour

Slightly dulled brass

Nose

Sweet. I did no research before this taste review, and just in smell alone I got the sherried notes. Rich smelling, cooked dried fruits, vanilla, hint of banana. On the first couple of sniffs I also detected grass (of the non-herbal variety)

Palate

Oily. Initial tingle of spirit opens up to woody, spicy notes. Slightly bitter caramel, light honey, almonds at times, perhaps marzipan.

Finish

Medium long finish. Once the tingle had died away, there is a chocolate mocha flavour that is very pleasant. Nutty and woody to start with. Light brown sugar notes.

Glenallachie 12

Conclusion

The headline for this article couldn’t be any more appropriate. Thinking to the Primal Scream hit record of the same name, there was a definite rocking party going on in the nosing of the dram. So much wonderful aromas there truly was a smell sensation going on.

I was very excited to taste it. Just by the smell you could tell it was a sherried whisky, but this particular malt uses Oloroso, PX and virgin oak casks, and the mix comes out in the taste and smell very distinctly.

The taste? Very good whisky with a definite spirit kick. However for me a bit of a let down on the aroma. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but I didn’t get as many flavour notes as I did aroma notes. There is a boost at the end, and that was the clear mocha note at the very end of the finish. It hung around on my tastebuds for quite a while.

What gets this whisky a bigger thumbs up is the fact it is naturally presented with no chill filtering or colour adding shenanigans going on. And at 46%, a single teaspoon of water was just enough to smooth it out.

The even better thing about this whisky is that a 70CL bottle can be had for £38.90 at Master Of Malt. Or try your friendly local whisky shop. They may be a little more expensive but there are opportunities for samples and friendly chat. My sample was bought at the Whisky Shop in Dufftown and cost £5.10.

Despite the slight disappointment of the taste versus the nose is still one of my contenders for the best sampling I have reviewed this year. Maybe a bit on the pricey side for a twelve year old, but remember my friends; we are in the pursuit of quality, and this bottle has it. The price point is justified in my opinion.

Given that this was rarely seen as a single malt unless via a small release from an independent bottler, and also that the last official bottle from the Pernod Ricard ownership was a NAS release at 40%, then seeing the quality now released means good things may come from GlenAllachie.

Although I don’t score my whiskies, this would be a 9/10 all day long.

GlenAllachie Distillery

You can now visit the GlenAllachie distillery. Visit theglenallachie.com for more information. They are open Monday – Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Slainte Mhath!


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