2019 is over (peace to his soul) and 2020 starts with a fanfare. Happy New Year to all.
A brief look back on the race to create distilleries (Scottish or not) lets us foresee some more beautiful years and beautiful things. One of the big and beautiful discoveries of the past year remains without any doubt (in my opinion at least) the rise of the GLENALLACHIE distillery and its beautiful achievements.
Awards, medals from all over the world for many achievements in Scotland and abroad (including World Whiskies Awards 2019 gold medal for the 10 year old and bronze for the 25 year old you have discovered on this site), Billy Walker (one of the happy owners) Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards...
It's a bit chilly for the competition, whereas the new owners have only been in charge for 2 years (the distillery has been in existence since 1967). I will just use as a symbol, the presence at the last live whisky in Paris. GLENALLACHIE probably had the smallest corner of the show (but the most beautiful pants -NDLR-) but made a real eye and a real competition (when you could see the world in front of the stand) to all the sherry tenors in front of them (MACALLAN), just behind them (GLENFARCLASS) or not far away (DALMORE and ABERLOUR).
Moreover, when you know that the distillery is running at low speed and under capacity: 4 stills which are just waiting to be heated and which produce at barely 20% of their capacity, so that quality is more important than quantity.
Then, to tempt you to try a bottle from the valley of rocks (glenallachie in Gaelic, hold on), I will test for you the one on which BILLY WALKER (the master blender) has been working since the buyout with his buddies of the distillery in 2017. Her baby is 15 years old.
So where does the beautiful copper, almost brown colour of this whisky come from? And many of the 15 years spent mostly in a bourbon cask, but mostly to a mixed finish in hogshead (a mixture of new and used 250 l staves) and puncheon (sherry shape elongated cask containing between 480 and 520 l) casks having previously contained Pedro Ximenez (PX) and Oloroso to blend the flavours. Nice program.
How's the nose?
The first time the nose dives in, the first impressions are softly sweet. Imagine just out of the oven, a chocolate cake on which we would have made a vanilla caramel topping! Nice announcement. The 46% alcohol is present but passes rather discreetly. It is at the second passage that the sherry finish is revealed with notes of red fruits (cherries) and dried fruits (grapes). Shall we go back? There it will be citrus fruits which will come out but very discreetly and in the form of a marmalade.
When it enters the mouth, it is with great sweetness and always warm and mellow. This sensation very quickly gives way to the spiciness of a short explosion of spices before calming down and letting tastes of chocolate or ripe fruit, all of which is enhanced with cinnamon, wander around.
The finish will not be the longest, but it will still be very good. It will leave roasted and woody notes in the mouth. There is even a hint of cinnamon.
Overall, this whisky is still a great success. A baby to be proud of!
What are you waiting for to get your hands on one?? For my part, I can't wait to go and visit the "distillery of the year" at the Scottish whisky awards 2019 this year and taste their new productions... I can assure you that everything will be on your favourite site.