Thanks to /u/xile_ for the sample.
GlenAllachie. I’ve not reviewed one before. This is my first time. Hopefully I’m gentle with myself.
Let’s be honest, I won’t be.
GlenAllachie was founded in 1967, making it quite young. Also impressive that such a young whisky distillery survived the 80s. Heck I’m surprised most people surprised the 80s, what with the downturn, horrible leadership, focus on marketing and consumerism…. Oh, wait, that’s now.
At least no distilleries closed down in the 10s. GlenAllachie was mothballed in 1985, sold in 1989 and then restarted. In 2017, it was sold again and is now owned by the GlenAllachie Distillers Company Limited along with White Heather and MacNairs.
Thus why we’ve started seeing OBs pop up.
I haven’t run into any yet, but I did run into two independent bottles, both from previous ownership in the 90s. Let’s see how they taste, shall we?
I have little information on the first one, GlenAllachie 25 First Editions. Got a sample handed to me, have no idea who it came from (at first), and still don’t have all the stats on it.
Oh well, let’s put the mystery in my face then.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: (Likely Refill) ex-Bourbon hogshead
Total number of bottles: 177
Colour: 10Y 8/6
Nose: Brown sugar, tobacco (spicy, pine), lots of peach, cinnamon, grass
Sweet, some spice and vegetal, and then a ton of peaches to really blast away in change, difference, or frankly any complexity whatsoever.
Peach, more peach, some peach, with a soupcon of peach to round out the peach. Water brought more peach. Did I mention peach? Peach.
Taste: Peach, gravel, cinnamon, caramel, dandelion/cotton
More peach! But there’s some earth and spice now. And the spice builds to match the peach. Then overwhelms the peach. Now there’s only cinnamon.
Hot. Water makes it floral/fabric softener like. I don’t know if that’s helping.
Finish: Cumin, caramelized pear, arugula, peach
Earth, some sweeter less peach more pear oh shit that’s a stone fruit doesn’t matter note, and some more vegetal. Water brings out peach. Thank goodness.
Conclusion: Boring, overspiced at times, hot, not fun. There’s aspects here where you think it’s pairing well or it’s working, and then it burns you, or you burn it, or it doesn’t really hit the peak.
Frankly this makes me want to try the current GlenAllachie 25 OB, because I want to know if this is the GlenAllachie doing this or was it sold off cheap because it’s cursed.
So if you come upon this bottling, and you’re wondering, the answer is skip. Buy some Crown Royal Peach and you’re all set. Actually no, don’t buy either and go grab some water and be hydrated, you’ll be happier.
GlenAllachie 21 1996 Signatory Cask Strength is a bottle that I purchased and split with a friend because he’d been cool about splits and was looking for someone to take a risk. So I did.
Then we all realized I really didn’t know anything about it. It’s two ex-bourbon hogsheads, but it’s also from a distillery I don’t know at all and then it’s from Signatory, which I typically like.
Did I screw up? Has this haunted me for years, cursing my family name? Probably not, but let’s see, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Cask Type: 2 ex-bourbon hogsheads
Cask Number: 5249 + 5250
Number of bottles: 449
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Lime sorbet, white chocolate, mint, mineral, tarragon
Nice sweetness that keeps trying to overpower. Good white chocolate notes, lovely citrus. Some mineral and herbal notes.
It’s a bit odd. Keeps getting more mineral/herbal as time goes on.
Taste: Lemon candy, brown sugar, grassy, smoke, white chocolate
Citrus sweet continues. Gets a lot more here. Citrus is the main flavour going on though. Water brings out a bit of smoke and more white chocolate.
Again, a different, Summer-y type of dram. Very light and refreshing.
Finish: Lemon drop cocktail, mint, smokey, cream, orange
Wow, really rich lemon here, more of the same. It’s really creamy and citrus-y.
Conclusion: Citrus forward, white chocolate touched. It’s hard to explain it all. Like having ceviche without the fish? Or like a dessert ceviche maybe? Or perhaps a lot of sorbet.
I like it and I don’t. I normally am a sucker for these drams because with a bunch of citrus comes floral notes and this odd mixture, and then you have cask strength and it’s all strong. Here it’s never brash, it’s just there.
I have this recipe for a lemon loaf, and as part of it you actually make a lemon filled simple syrup and pour it on the loaf, which then absorbs it like a Highlander visiting the French Revolution. That’s not this. This is balanced, and for that, I commend it. I’d sit back and enjoy this any day. However… I’m looking for something a bit stronger most days. So if you like a gentle dram, this is it. Add some points to my score and buy a bottle.
Scotch review #1130-1, Speyside review #323-4, Whisky reviews #1752-3