Glenallechie has taken me by surprise. I recall reviewing the Glenallechie Distillery Edition which I found quite bland. Very soon after they relaunch their brand with a new label and bottle design and they bottled their whisky as 46%+ and stated that they do not colour or chill filter. I reviewed their 12 year old cask strength and a blended malt and was very impressed. I knew nothing of the brand until I tried the distillery edition and it put me off. I didn’t intend to revisit the brand. The new range came out and received very positive reviews from other whisky commentators so I had to give it a try and I did not regret it. I am a fan of the distillery now. If you are into whisky then I really recommend you read a few reviews to get a good feel for whether you will like it. The online community prompted me to revisit the brand but it was the quality of the liquid that won me over. The 10 year old cask strength, 12 year old and their Lum Reek blend was full off flavour. I believe this difference was due to bottling malts from better quality casks amongst their stock, bottling at higher strength and not chill filtering. The flip side to this is that I can see demand for Glenallechie malts only rising and eventually we will reach a point where they are difficult to get hold and prices will rise.
Whisky: Glenallechie 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%
Nose: Tinned peaches, ovaltine, savoury, malt, marzipan, sherry, leather, red apples, dried fruit, cinnamon, chocolate
Taste: Ovaltine, malt, sour orange rind, chilli chocolate, butterscotch, mocha
Finish: Malty, dark chocolate and spice
Summary: This is very concentrated so I recommend water with this. There is an intense sweet and savoury feel to the nose with an added bit of spice. Over time and with water the maltiness comes out along with oranges and chocolate. Spice lingers throughout and compliments the rest of what is going on and over time towards the finish it becomes more prominent as the dark chocolate and mocha notes come to fore. This is quite a robust malt, like the 10 year old cask strength and 12 year old. This 15 lacked that tropical element that I enjoyed with the others and this one felt a bit more sherry dominated and I also found it to have some alcohol heat to it. This one is priced at almost £60 which is OK but I would go for the 12 year old at almost £40.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com