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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

April 19, 2019



Wee battles,
today Allt-a-Bhainne




Allt-a-Bhainne 26 yo 1992/2018 (51.6%, The Single Malts Of Scotland, Elixir Distillers, cask #36, hogshead, 279 bottles)

Allt-a-Bhainne 26 yo 1992/2018 (51.6%, The Single Malts Of Scotland, Elixir Distillers, cask #36, hogshead, 279 bottles)
Whisky people used to say there was always at least one ‘great’ bottling from every distillery. The search continues in the case of Allt-a-Bhainne. Although, in all fairness, the search goes on with quite a few of them really. So that sentiment is largely nonsense. Indeed, people used to say lots of things... Colour: oaked chardonnay. Nose: gentle to the point of timidity at first nosing. Grass, olive oil, some shy green fruits, apples, pears, distant custard. If someone did one of those little pots for a nosing kit labelled ‘nice malt whisky’ they might use this. Some butter, some cereal, some more general garden and green fruitiness. With water: fruity mueslli, sweet porridge, lemony, cereal, lightly grassy, some youthful dessert wine. All perfectly fine. Mouth: easy arrival on bubblegum, juicy fruits, fruit salad sweets, runny honey and some sweet cereal notes. All very clean and pleasant but it’s just a tad hollow and generic is the only problem. More light custard notes, some lemon peel and apricot jam. With water: sweet, easy, green apple, some white chocolate, mint tea with lemon. Simple but very easy. Finish: medium, getting ever so slightly dryer, a twist of white pepper, some citrus pith, cornflakes and maybe a bit of vanilla. Comments: If you just want some very easy, simple, inoffensive malt whisky flavoured malt whisky then this will do the job. It’s just not particularly exciting or interesting. The search continues...
SGP: 431 - 80 points.




Well, we’re having the very same Allt a Bhainne here at WF Towers, so why not taste it as well? Knowing that we shall not read Angus’s comments before we’re done, in true Malt Maniacs fashion?

Allt-a-Bhainne 26 yo 1992/2018 (51.6%, The Single Malts Of Scotland, Elixir Distillers, cask #36, hogshead, 279 bottles) Three stars and a half
I often tell that old story and shall tell it again. Around 2005 there were rumours that Allt a Bhainne had been mothballed, so I contacted the PR department of the French owners and asked them whether that was true or not. A few weeks later, the answer came in: “Are you sure it belongs to us?” Same story at another French company by the way, around the same period or a little earlier. I was enquiring about any possible special single casks, as they had just bought a famous distillery on Islay. Their answer has been this: “You must have it wrong, indeed we just bought a Scottish Distillery, but the name’s Glenmorangie, not the one you just mentioned”. It was Ardbeg. Anyway, things have changed indeed… Colour: pale gold. Nose: it’s very fresh, mostly on plums and peaches, as well as gooseberries, perhaps. In the background, some sweet barley, or perhaps maize. Barley syrup. With water: very fresh, a tad grassier, fully on green and yellow orchard fruits. Mirabelles and greengages. A touch of paper and ink in the background – indeed, magazines. Mouth (neat): a tad prickly, green, on cider apples and grapefruit skin. Tart and green indeed, you could believe it’s some ex-re-re-re-refill Bladnoch. With water: rounder, rather more on plums and pears. A touch of cinnamon, grist, porridge… Finish: medium, on dough and the same fruits. Overripe apples and pears. Comments: I’ll check Angus’s score later (I’ve seen it but I swear I’ve forgotten what it was), now given that it’s very good but a tad middle-of-the-road-ish and maybe lacking character, that would rather be…
SGP:541 - 83 points.

And so, I win! (that was easy)

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