Until 2017 GlenAllachie distillery was a modern ‘boring distillery’ in the Chivas Brothers portfolio where 99.5% of the produced whisky going into blends (mainly Chivas Regal) and just a few casks here and there were bottled as single casks by independent bottlers.
But then came Billy Walker who sold BenRiach Distillers (owning BenRiach, Glendronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries) to Brown-Forman a year before, and the distillery immediately came into the limelight and everybody was curious to see what will Billy do with the distillery and the extensive stock maturing in the warehouses.
A few months ago it started with a wave of single casks and two months ago, GlenAllachie launched their core line up and we’ll cover it here, starting with the cornerstone of the line up and the probable best seller of the distillery – GlenAllachie 12 Year Old.
GlenAllachie 12 Year Old was matured in a combination of Pedro Ximénez, Oloroso and virgin oak casks and bottled at a great strength of 46%.
Nose: Mellow maltiness, oranges, tangerine rind, honey, hardness below (rocks, stones and limestone), honey glazed pears. After a few minutes, fruit orchard, pears and apricot and some bubble gum. Then the sweet candies come along: pear drops and hard candies.
Palate: Malty, spicy citrus, white pepper, lots of rock dust and limestone, bitter almonds, pears, stone fruit, After a few minutes also honey glazed apricot and slightly drying.
Finish: Medium length, a bit drying, white pepper and spicy fruitiness, honeyed pears and bit of apricot, limestone dust.
Thoughts: Quite a surprisingly good start for Billy Walker and co. This 12 Year Old is intended to be the entry level whisky and it’s a refreshing one with a different, interesting and tasty profile. There’s a lot of limestone and rock dust here which shouldn’t surprise us as the distillery name means ‘valley of the rocks’. The 12 Year Old is a dram I can see myself drinking at the end of the day on a regular basis. We all should have one of those in the drinks cabinet.