Just like yesterday’s post, this one came in a while ago but I wanted it to give it the respect, attention and nasal capacity it deserves.
I find it a bold move by Bram and Floris to release an Allt-a-Bhainne. Not a popular distillery by any means. With having tasted some 5000 whiskies since I started tasting whisky, I think the number of Allt-a-Bhainnes can be counted on one hand.
Then again, I put it to Bram and Floris to select anything they find tasty. I also know they have high standards, although that can sometimes cause a bit of a failed reality-check with their Caol Ila from last year. Even though that is a tremendous whisky…
Anyway, Allt-a-Bhainne, possibly the ugliest distillery in Scotland, is not popular in the mainstream of whisky drinkers. Let’s give it a go!
Smooth, and with lots of malt and fruit. Shortbread, biscuits, dough. But also wild peach, apple. Quite dusty too, some peppermint, toast and even some dry tea.
The palate is quite smooth, and veers away from the dusty notes. It’s still a bit dry, and there are hints of pepper for some heat. There’s both fresh and dried peach, a touch of bitterness like peach stones. Dried strawberries, raspberries. So still something dusty after all.
The finish is suddenly even more fruity. It stays a bit timid, but the combination of malt in the form of shortbread, with the dried berries works quite well. Like the cookie version of scones with cream and jam. The dryness of black tea suddenly pops up.
I am not entirely sure how representative this whisky is for Allt-a-Bhainne, but it sure is a tasty whisky! There are quite a lot of interesting flavors to be discovered, which is a good thing. What also works is that it is not a generic whisky by any means, and the proper age is noticeable on the palate.
A good pick from the Dutch guys, but a very cask driven whisky. Recommended!
Allt-a-Bhainne 23yo, 23/07/1997-08/09/2020, Barrel 102589, 52.4%. Available from Best of Whiskies and The Old Pipe for € 200
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