Even though I rarely go there anymore, I always love(d) visiting The Old Pipe in St. Oedenrode. When I lived in Den Bosch it was relatively close and I went there occassionally. Since I moved away it’s more than a 90 minute drive, and so out of the way that it’s been years since I’ve been there. Of course, they do have a web shop and I sometimes know how to find the button to buy a bottle or two.
Last week, however, they announced a new single cask bottled especially for the shop. They had such things before, with an Arran, and some bottlings by Claxton’s. The Arran was very good, the Claxton‘s I found less convincing. There was another Claxton’s which I haven’t posted my review for yet.
Now, initially, I wasn’t too concerned with this GlenAllachie. Mostly because there are so many ‘Allachies available that one more or less wouldn’t make a difference. But for some reason, their marketing engine did their job because when things got closer to the release date, last Thursday if I recall, I wanted a bottle for sharing. What also helped was that Bram, of ‘The Whisky Nerds’ stated ‘I would have liked a cask like that for the Nerds’.
I know how high his bar is. I know he doesn’t say stuff like that on a whim. That got me over the line and I ordered a bottle for sharing, and even though there’s a one per person limit, I got someone else to get me a second bottle.
Of the first 70cl, I shared 63, so only 7cl for myself. When I sat down to try it yesterday, I immediately knew that that first bottle was going to be empty by the end of the night.
Dry sherry notes with a lot of nuts and dried fruit. It’s not very sweet with an almond bitterness and hazelnut dryness. Very much an older style of sherry. Dark chocolate and mocha. Later on the oak and roasted malts start coming through. Even some cherries and blackberries.
The palate lets you know it’s a cask strength dram! It’s not ridiculously hot or sharp, but there’s a definite intensity to it. The blackberries and even some cassis are more prominent than before. Cherries and a variety of nuts. Pecans, hazelnuts and almonds. Some raisins after a little while. Although it’s not overly sweet still, it still is a tad sweeter than the nose was.
The finish, once again, is a bit more sweet than what came before. The dry notes still win, though. Riasins, the nuts and a wet kind of sponge cake. A bit like sticky toffee pudding, but interestingly with more focus on the almond flour than on the sticky toffee.
I agree with the marketing engine in this case. This is a cracking whisky, with a more old fashioned approach to sherry cask maturation. It’s not the more contemporary focus on sweetness and dried fruits, but veers towards the bitterness and nutty aspects of it all.
It’s quite a remarkable whisky and I am very glad I got another bottle. With almost 700 bottles coming from that single cask it is still available, and if you are in the business of buying bottles of whisky of € 100, this one is highly recommended!
Available through/at The Old Pipe