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

November 2, 2023


WF's Little (much extended) Duos, today young Glenallachie

What do you do when you cannot count on age? You count on oak. Having said that, I really appreciate that they display the ages, even when the whisky is very young, and that they don't take the lazy route with NAS and outlandish names and stories that would make even the most depressed existentialist laugh. Right.




Glenallachie 7 yo 'Hungarian Virgin Oak' (48%, OB, 2023)

Glenallachie 7 yo 'Hungarian Virgin Oak' (48%, OB, 2023) Two stars and a half
It doesn't say on the front label but this is only a finish. Hungarian oak is lighter and usually rather suitable for short to medium aging of wines intended for tasting soon after bottling. It is less spicy and tannic than French oak, for example. Colour: gold. Nose: nice fruits, with ripe apples, plums, touches of pineapples, marshmallows, biscuits, muesli… All gentleness but no excessive youth on the nose. Mouth: very easy, sweet, mildly spicy, with cream eggs and some limoncello, apple juice, plus a little sawdust, cinnamon, cedarwood… I find it really fine, even if the virgin oak feels a little bit, despite its inherent lightness. Finish: medium, oak-driven now, with aniseed, caraway, fennel and just green tannins. Comments: the fresh wood really started to come through in the finish, I found it a bit excessive but overall, it's a pleasant young whisky seasoned with oak. A shame that you cannot cancel the finish.
SGP:561 - 78 points.

Glenallachie 8 yo 'Scottish Virgin Oak' (48%, OB, 2023)

Glenallachie 8 yo 'Scottish Virgin Oak' (48%, OB, 2023) Two stars and a half
Once again, this is only a finishing. Scottish oak is said to be rather rare, since many old trees were cut down to make ships for the Royal Navy. I remember that Glengoyne released a 'Scottish Oak Finish' a long time ago, in 2005. I liked it back then (WF 87), but I'm sure no one would slaughter old oak trees in Scotland today, just for making slightly humble whisky casks. Must be a side-product, no? Colour: gold. Nose: not that far from American oak, that is to say with some vanilla, herbal teas, fresh broken branches, a few root vegetables, grist and husk... Mouth: more fruits and, once again, rather a feeling of American oak, with some neat vanilla and apples and plums. Jelly babies, marshmallows, IPA (which has become the same thing from a beer geek's point of view, I've heard). Finish: medium, sweet, less oaky than its Hungarian sibling, but with some zesty spices indeed. Lemongrass, cardamom, ginger… More peppery earth in the aftertaste. Comments: it's still not my thing but I find it rather fine, less an oak infusion this time. But I'm not sure I'd buy a double-magnum.
SGP:661 - 79 points.

Absolutely not my business, but I'm not totally sure you could do with European oak(s) all what seems to be working pretty well with American white oak. Right, I feel like we need another official Glenallachie, as a deserved high-quality bonus…

Glenallachie 15 yo 2007/2023 (57.2%, OB for Whisky Maniac, 5th Anniversary, PX puncheon, cask #6683, 716 bottles)

Glenallachie 15 yo 2007/2023 (57.2%, OB for Whisky Maniac, 5th Anniversary, PX puncheon, cask #6683, 716 bottles) Four stars
We have a good feeling this time. Colour: red amber. Nose: we're not crazy about PX, but yes, this time, it works perfectly, with an incredibly indulgent nose. Roasted raisins and nuts, millionaire shortbread, black teas, roasted chestnuts, fig cake, then mint leaves, pine needles, hoisin and earth. There's not only PX, there's more. With water: earthy figs and a working nargileh. Indeed, I think there is a Turkish aspect to this malt. Mouth (neat): a creamy arrival on your palate, with rather perfect spices this time, clove, liquid caramel, pepper liqueur, Christmas cake, pine resin and aquavit… You could have believed it would have become a little stuffy but that's not the case, pretty miraculously. Some bitterer gingerbread. With water: with speculoos, while it would get much drier, with some cocoa (I'll always remember those Van Houten tin boxes we were having as kids) and a feeling of moist pipe tobacco. Some kind of spicy orange cordial then.  Finish: long, spicier. Raw cocoa, mint and cinnamon drops, and pepper. The oak may be having the upper hand at this point. Comments: excellent, with a spicy and high-quality woodiness, but we would really like to taste a natural Glenallachie again one of these days. Even though it's true that the old official 12-year-old from thirty years ago, with its yellowed label, wasn't exactly a showpiece. To say the least.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

Hold on…

Glenallachie 5 yo 'Meikle Toir The Chinkapin One' (48%, OB, 2023)

Glenallachie 5 yo 'Meikle Toir The Chinkapin One' (48%, OB, 2023) Four stars and a half
That's right, Glenallachie's own peater, in this case peated to 35ppm peat IN THE DISTILLATE (I've heard). This is how you should pronounce it: 'Mee-Kuhl Tor', Sounds like the name of a Norwegian doom-hard-black-metal band, does it not. Colour: gold. Nose: very modern, very cool, with lots of bacon, sauna oils, and new rubber. It's almost like visiting a car dealership with all these new tyres and all the spent motor oil gathered in the trays. There are many Speyside distilleries that have recently tried peat, including some previously managed by Billy Waller (Benriach), and most have achieved slightly average results in my opinion. That is not the case here, I really like this very... automotive profile. Cars and bacon, nice combination! Mouth: in keeping with this, but with new flavours like burnt lemon tart and worn-out dragster tyre. It's really quite fun; it's far from the first 'Chinkapin oak' from Glenmorangie, do you remember it? A totally non-coastal peat, it's a welcome variation for us. Finish: long and more lemony and spicy, that's the American barrel responding to the peat. Comments: It's a bit like the Fight Club, but indeed, it's fun. I think we're going to stop before we see who won, we don't have all night (nor a good litre of this crazy Meikle Toir) ahead of us.
SGP:467 - 89 points.

Glenallachie 5 yo 'Meikle Toir The Turbo' (50%, OB, 2023)

Glenallachie 5 yo 'Meikle Toir The Turbo' (50%, OB, 2023) Four stars and a half
The Turbo? You see, I told you, it's indeed a story about cars. That said, with 71ppm peat IN THE DISTILLATE, I'm not sure if this thing is really legal. Let's check that... Colour: amber. I'm not quite sure why this one would be much darker than its less peaty twin, but let's move on… Nose: well, someone bought a new pair of rubber boots and didn't find anything better to do than to throw them into the stove, and then add some acetone and motor oil. Should we call the police right away or should we wait a bit? Maybe these notes of cedar wood, wood glue, teak oil, and Barbour grease will save the day… Mouth: it's thick like oil but it also has some extremely enticing notes of candied citrus. In fact, there is a 'lab-made' feel to it, but honestly, we don't care, it works. A lot of wood smoke, beyond the peat, in the style of some deep-smoked fish from the far north. Pine smoke leading the way! Finish: very long, somewhat overpowering to be honest, I think we'll forget about the Strasbourg goose foie gras and the fine de claire oysters that we had planned for a starter after this resounding aperitif. We'll also give up on the Meursault, thank you Glenallachie, this is going to cost you! Comments: it's kind of a whisky to take with a grain of salt, in my opinion, and for that reason, I love it. I'm just waiting for the official release of the Jeroboams before ordering. Because, well, I need to sort out my circle of friends anyway.
SGP:569 – 88 points

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenallachie we've tasted so far







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