GlenAllachie has been making name for themselves since Billie Walker took over a couple of years ago. While it was a bit of a generic distillery beforehand, focused on producing whisky for blenders, they now are releasing lots (and I mean lots) of single casks to virtually everyone who’s interested.
In this post I’ll review three of them. A bottling for Archives, an official single cask for The Netherlands and one for France. Two sherry casks and a weird one from a special kind of oak.
Let’s just get to it.
GlenAllachie 11, 2009-2020, Oloroso Hogshead 7700, 55% – OB for France
A big ABV, as per usual for these GlenAllachies. Lots of spicy sherry, woody with clove and cinnamon. Dates, plums, almonds.
Sharp, peppery heat. Lots of chili, lots of oak, some bitter hints of cherry stones. Sour cherries, dates, plums. Typical.
Cola, cinnamon, clove. A dark sweetness of caramel. Cherry cola, oak, some bitterness.
Quite a good whisky, and for a random GlenAllachie the 55% is on the low side, strangely. It does give a bit more room to the wood flavors to be noticed. It adds some interesting notes of cola with baking spices and some dried fruits. Good stuff!
GlenAllachie 10, 2010-2020, Chinquapin Barrel 4557, 62.4% – OB for The Netherlands
The typical fierce dryness that is cask strength GlenAllachie. Lots of dry osk, sawdust and a woody bitterness. The almonds and cherry stones without the fruitiness.
Fierce and bone dry. Lots of oak, sawdust, some sweetness too. Egg washed puff pastry, some other wood spices that I cannot pin down. Black tea.
Dry with lots, and I mean lots, of oak. Not necessarily cask driven, but pure and dry sawdust and shavings.
Chinquapin is two different things. It’s a dwarf chestnut tree, which I find strange since that’s not allowed for whisky making. However, it’s also a name for a smaller species of oak, named after the dwarf chestnut tree. That explains some things.
The virgin oak is quite noticeable, since it is a very wood forward whisky. I love that it becomes massively dry because of it, especially on the finish. It might be a bit too much for some, but it’s right up my alley, even though it’s more ‘alcohol oak juice’ than a soothing single malt whisky.
GlenAllachie 11, 2008-2020, Sherry Butt 80901088, 62.5% – Archives ‘Birds of the Orient’
Dry, spicy sherry, with baking spices. Slightly wine-like. Dried apricots, peaches and cream. It somehow reminds me of the mango yoghurt my son eats.
This burns like hell, at 62.5%. Slightly leathery, but that might be the inside of my mouth. Harsh, with some dried fruits and grains. A bit of oak, but not much.
The finish is quite gentle compared to the palate, with peaches, cream, a bit scone with double cream like. Oak, honey and oatmeal, barley.
Well, even though it’s almost on par with the ABV of the previous one, this one hits a lot harder. A bit too hard, if you ask me. The focus is very much on the high strength and the alcohol dominates the ‘drinking experience’. The whisky does bring a bit more fruit than the Chinquapin one, with peaches and cream leading the way. However, with how sharp it is, I didn’t enjoy drinking it all that much.
With this batch I think it’s proven again that they’re on quite a rol at GlenAllachie, although not everything is as enjoyable as some others. Much like every other distillery. However, I do like to keep trying these, I can tell you that!