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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

GlenAllachie 18 year old

On Monday I found Glenallachie's cask strength 10 year old to be problematic. On Tuesday, the 12 year old was just fine. Today, I'm reviewing the last of the trio of GlenAs, the 18 year old.

This Taste Off did not go as planned. Despite my commentary about Walker & Co's past doings and the weird branding choices, I do (or did) appreciate the good stuff Walker brought out of Allied's warehouses at Glendronach and Benriach. So I was hoping for, or even expecting, something fun from at least one of these whiskies. SPOILER ALERT: It wasn't to be.

Distillery: Glenallachie
Ownership: The Glenallachie Consortium
Region: Speyside (Aberlour)
Age: minimum 18 years old
Maturation: Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez and virgin oak casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered: No
Colorant added: No
(from a purchased sample)

All kinds of wood going on in the nose. At first there's pine sap, butter, caramel and eucalyptus. Then there are flowers, grapefruits and vanilla. And lumber. After 30+ minutes, it's roses, apricots and charred oak. The palate goes the opposite direction. It's loud and raw, feeling younger than the 12yo. It's herbal and grassy, loaded with white peppercorns and heat. Vanilla and marshmallows in the background. Pepper, vanilla, oranges and dried herbs in the hot finish.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or < ½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose calms down a little. Apple peels and cider, lemons and lumber. The palate becomes aggressively sweet. It also remains sharp and pepper and tart. The finish is sweet and herbal with a hint of pine sap.

I agree with Serge and Ruben, the 12 beats the 18. What's worse is that the 12 is "just fine". And the 18 is $125+. Regarding the whisky itself, the 18 year old has Craft Whisky written all over it. Loads of oak, rough spirit, nothing in balance. I'm having a hard time finding the inspiration to finish my sample. (Editor's note: Into a highball it went!)

As always, I encourage you to read other reviews by writers whose palates are similar to your own. Perhaps you may find better luck with these Glenallachies. I have zero interest in trying another of their standard range again.

Availability - Many specialty whisky retailers
Pricing - Europe: €90-€110 (w/VAT); USA $125-$150
Rating - 77 (neat only)

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