Cask Strength Batch 1 - 48.9% - vatting
GlenAllachie seems to have released a lot of bottles during 2020 and 2021. But what I've noticed is that they seem to be able to gauge and target what people want very well without repeating themsleves. From the very affordable and utterly fantastic core range 12yr, the unbelievable 15yr, a bunch of wine and wood finishes, and a heap of single cask releases that traverse PX, Oloroso, Port, Rioja.... and everything in between. Chinquapin & Grattamacco? Who knew? It's like walking into a sweetshop thinking you know what you want, and then getting an unexpected lesson in the science of confectionary by the shopkeeper and walking out with 5 times what you had anticipated and with a new education and appreciation of the subject to boot.
The 30yr is GlenAllachie's oldest core release to-date. It looks fabulous, sounds fabulous, and carries a hefty price tag. The distillery says this particular whisky is made up of a combination of 1989 and 1990 vintages matured in former Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso hogsheads & puncheons, along with a small quantity of Chinquapin Virgin Oak casks.
Appearance: Dark polished Rosewood. Viscous & oily legs.
Nose: Over-ripe stone fruit, warmed sultanas, black cherries, Oloroso sherry, cake spice, almond paste, blackcurrant jelly, and toffee sauce. It's a whirlwind of scents that keep coming. Then there's some oaky vanillins and gentle wood shavings. You could just nose this for ages without even taking an actual sip.
Palate: Not as sweet as I was expecting on first contact. The initial impressions are gentle oaked tannins and warmth. Then an elbow slowly nudges that out of the way to reveal a sherried sweetness with notes of cherry, stewed stone fruit, burnt sugar/molasses, and vanilla. The oakiness returns with more concentrated notes of vanilla, muscovado sugar, and a gentle pepper studding to the tongue.
Finish: Long with a sweet & an oaken viscosity. It's all in balance and just sits there perfectly. Sherry, vanilla, and sweetness slowly dance around whilst a gentle warming pepper close out the experience with soft tannins.
Conclusion: This is one of those "spoil yourself drams" Something to take your time over and enjoy the many layers of flavour that slowly appear. No rushing allowed here. I absolutely LOVE the impact that the Chinquapin virgin oak casks have had on the whisky, that gives it (for me), an extra layer of vanillary-woodiness. Genius.
Circa £475 at the time of writing.
Find out more about The GlenAllachie here