An exceptional whisky, an exceptional place. Today, we will taste the GLEN ALLACHIE 10 years Cask Strength (2nd version) just crowned with gold (in 2019 World Spirit Competition, Internationnal spirit challenge, IWSC and World Whisky Awards) not in Scotland but in the most Scottish of the French departments: the Cantal. I let you imagine, in the heart of France, valleys, green grass, peat bogs, rivers of pure water (well ok, a little less precipitation and cows a little less hairy).
To do so, barely finished the procession of the chapel of our Lady of the Castle, we leave with the one we will call here Ssh (for anonymity) amateur of the beautiful things in life but still neophyte in tasting whisky, towards the magnificent village of Salers. To appreciate this whisky we needed a place at the height of the Scottish moors. We thus arrive on the esplanade of Barrouze (and its breathtaking view on the valley of the Marrone and on the foothills of the chain of puys) at the time when the sun begins to leave us.
As the grey stone village emptied of the many visitors of the day, we sat on the still warm stones and drew our two glencairn and the bottle of GLEN ALLACHIE.
The moment was solemn. While under our feet the water from the old laundry room (where Jackie Kennedy had washed her laundry, but don't ask me why - editor's note-) was still shining, in front of us the put violent and the valley was gradually losing its green color and appeared to be beautiful orange colors.
It was time for that.
I poured the whisky into the glasses and let Ssh have the pleasure of talking to me about the colour. He said to me: "I didn't think a whisky could be that dark". Indeed, it has a dark colour mixed with bronze and red, announcing a sherry finish. It matured for ten years in bourbon barrels (virgin oak) before passing through barrels that had previously contained Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry.
While the sun continued to decline the color of the distillate, it continued to darken. It was time to discover its aromas.
Voluntarily, I had hidden from Ssh his degree of alcohol (54.8°) so as not to interfere with the feeling. As it should be, we plunged into it nostril by nostril to optimize the aromas. Of course, during the first passage, the vivacity of the alcohol in this liquid, bottled with the force of the barrel, was felt, but it brought with it rather sweet and woody aromas of vanilla. While we get some fresh air and enjoy the glow of the Marrone valley, we dive back into our nose and discover much more fruity aromas of apples, mangoes and perhaps pineapple. Slowing down our desire to taste, I propose to Ssh a third passage. This one made us discover greener aromas of spices, liquorice and ginger.
The table was set, all we had to do was taste!
It was at that moment that a kite began to glide from the setting sun and passed over the horizon between us and the mountains. That was clearly the signal. You had to go for it and taste it.
We let a few drops of the liquid flow into our mouth and swirled it during the 10 seconds allowed by his age. After a certain aggression related to its alcohol level (limited in comparison to the degree to my taste) we discover an oily texture with a vanilla and caramel taste. This is followed by aromas of citrus fruits mixed with spices. Liveliness, softness and sugar. Great success for Billy Walker, the blender of the distillery for 2 years.
As the sun disappeared on the horizon, this whisky, which won a major award in 2019, left us with a long lasting blend of citrus fruit and spice on our palate and inspired us to continue discovering this "young" distillery (in its current version but with a very long history -NDLR-) and to take a trip to the north coast of Scotland.
With a glass in his hand, facing this magnificent Cantalian landscape, Ssh threw into the wind: "We are fine! ». Perhaps the birth of a vocation?