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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

GlenAllachie 12 year old

I'm reviewing three of the new GlenAllachie single malts this week. Yesterday, there was the 10yo CS batch 1 review. Today, it's the 12 year old. There was one BIG issue with that 10 year old. Let's see if it reoccurs with the 12.

I won't expand upon yesterday's Billy Walker riff. I do wish him and his company well because the scotch industry can always use some good new products. They have brought along the quirky capitalization practice as they had with GlenDronach and BenRiach, highlighting the Glens and the Bens. The "The" they've added to Glenallachie seems silly and way-1990s. But really, what's up with the Harry Potter font?

Onto the whisky:

Distillery: Glenallachie
Ownership: The Glenallachie Consortium
Region: Speyside (Aberlour)
Age: minimum 10 years old
Maturation: Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez and virgin oak casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered: No
Colorant added: No
(from a purchased sample)

The nose's top layer is a mix of malt, vanilla and wasabi. Beneath that are hints of honey, clementines, jellybeans, burlap and nutritional yeast. It picks up a slight dirty hay note with time. While there are malt, herbs and peppercorns in the palate, the biggest note, by far, is marshmallow. Hints of frosted shredded wheat, limes and fresh ginger show up now and then. The marshmallow note fades out before the finish, pushing the frosted shredded wheat, limes and fresh ginger notes to the fore.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or < ½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Even with just this little bit of water, the nose has changed. It's all apples, lemons, Riesling and sharp cheddar. The palate is a jumble of wood and grain. Barley and raw spirit. Toasted oak and bitter green oak. Moments of tart limes and hay. The finish matches the palate.

The virgin oak issue is much less pronounced in the 12yo when compared to the 10yo CS, until one adds water. To stay positive-ish in this paragraph, I'll focus on the neat edition. The marshmallow note is curious, but there's a lot of barley, herbs and lime present, and the sweetness never spills over the top. It's simple, but very drinkable.

Yet again, the sherry casks are nearly invisible, which really isn't a problem until a few drops of water are added. And is "simple, but very drinkable" worth $50-$60? Not only does Glendronach's and Benriach's 12 year olds beat this whisky, but it loses to the new Loch Lomond 12 year old (I tried 'em side-by-side) as well. Still, I'd take GlenAllachie 12 over its more expensive, but younger, cask strength sibling.

Availability - Many specialty whisky retailers
Pricing - Europe: €40-€55 (w/VAT); USA $50-$60
Rating - 81 (neat only)

1 comment:

  1. I like the font and color choices for the new GlenAllachie bottlings. It sets them apart from the usual staid, boring, "we're trying to look really effing old" labeling choices most brands make. It's nice to see someone take a chance on looking a little different.