Glenallachie Murça Tawny Port - Murray McDavid

Age 13 Years - Murça Tawny Port Finish

Distilled 2008 Bottled 2022 62.4%

Murray McDavid appeared in 1994 and has become extremely well-known across the globe as an independent bottler. They profess to have a bit of a hankering for maturing whisky in casks that are "interesting", with an emphasis on wine casks. Or in this case Tawny Port.


The word "Murça" in the description of this bottle relates to the Murça municipality in northern Portugal. Tawny ports are wines usually made from red grapes that are aged in wooden barrels, allowing gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result of this oxidation, the Port mellows to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen imparts "nutty" flavours to the wine.


Initially filled into a Sherry butt, this Glenallachie whisky was then transferred into a Tawny Port barrique for just over 2 years to give it a final Port finish (or port punch in this case). The result on the eye is like maple syrup. The result on the tongue is, to say the least, big & bold.


Appearance: Deep amber, verging on black tea. Slow oily legs.


Nose: Booze-soaked chocolate sponge cake with some hints of cherry jam. A slight woody sourness appears that then turns into a richer, sweeter stewed fruit note. More chocolate appears like chocolate sauce, roasted chestnuts, Fruit 'n' Nut chocolate, and sweet potato. Held in the glass a little longer and there are ripe & sweaty raisins. And just when you thought you'd had enough chocolate, there's a whiff of hot chocolate. It's just all sweetness and rich puddings. A flash of mint at the end. It's one BIG nose.


Palate: Sweet, nutty, oily, and thick. The alcohol is there and delivers some heat, pepper, and dryness. A drop of water could be our friend here. Once the palate is primed for a second sip, the liquid delivers an onslaught of rich sweetness like maple syrup, burnt brown sugar, and some herbal aromatics. The original sherry cask maturation has imparted sweetness of raisins and toffee, but the final 2 years of finishing in a Tawny Port Barrique has basically flicked the switch on the turbo button and you're pushed back into the seat at 200mph.


Finish: Big, heavy, sweet & oily. The influence from the original sherry marries with the final Port finish to give the liquid an unadulterated roller coaster ride of sweetness and everything that sets the alarm bells going off for a diabetic. About 10 minutes later and there's a gentle Liquorice linger.


Water adds…: Drier on the nose with more caramel-nuttiness on the palate. The finish is a little oilier.


Conclusion: This is one huge whisky. It's like a super-heavyweight boxer stepping into the ring with a flyweight and knocking them straight over the ropes and into the crowd with a single punch. The base spirit is there for sure. Could I tell you this is a Glenallachie in a blind taste? Actually, I 'think' I could, as I've done a few comparative tastes alongside other Glenallachie's of similar strengths and there's a definite resemblance in the bass notes. I love it!


Hats of to the guys at Murray McDavid for this dessert-like release.


Price per bottle £95-£100 (at the time of writing this review)


More about Murray McDavid here

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