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  • Writer's pictureSean Kincaid

A REVIEW MOST THOUGHT WOULDN’T EVER HAPPEN



Glenallachie 11 Year PX Finish


Background


I will start this off by simply stating, that if you have followed my journey over the past couple years at all, that you probably have come across a discussion from time to time on my feelings on Mr. Billy Walker. More so, it has to do with the title he has taken over the past 15+ years as “Master Distiller”, first with BenRiach/Glendronach/Glenglassaugh and now with Glenallachie. Up until very recently the brands under his control had never released a whisky that he himself had distilled, but there adorning the labels and packaging was his signature under the title of “Master Distiller”. Yes, I fully understand this was to do more with industry norms and following suit, but I argue there are plenty of brands whose bottles feature signatures under titles such as “Distillery Manager” or “Director” etc.

This of course is not to say I don't respect and fully give due to Mr. Walker and everything he has accomplished in his illustrious career. A Hall of Famer in the industry and deservedly so, he is arguably the greatest master of wood and casking that the industry has ever seen. His ability to source and then properly use casks of major quality is second to none. And thus begins the review.


Pertinent Information

Released by Glenallachie in 2021 as part of the third batch in their “Wood Finish Range”

Aging: 9 years in American white oak, then 2 years in PX sherry puncheons.

Abv - 48%

Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Colour.

Released in semi-limited quantities

Overall Winner in DarkCloudWhisky Best of 2022 - Best Speyside Scotch


In the Glass

Medium burnt caramel in colour. A bit thinner in the glass than I anticipated. The legs are also a little thinner and faster running than I would think after a decent PX finishing. I absolutely love the colour of this whisky as I swirl it around the glass.


Nose

I can catch whiffs off the glass with this whisky in it from decently far away from my face. Right off the bat I get a sense that this is a thick malt with a really appetizing nose. I get the PX influence straight away. The deep dark red fruit, sultanas, raisins, prunes and then a little lighter red fruits like strawberries and even leading to a hint of dark orange peel notes. There is a definite sweetness as well, but not overtly. It reminds me of melting butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and reducing it down, but then if you added some vanilla and toffee into it. One last beautiful note coming off the glass is those Christmas spice notes. A light dose of cinnamon and nutmeg and almost a nutty quality as well. This nose is an absolute dream. One I spent a long while with before diving in for the first sip.


Palate

Oh heck yes!! Right off the start I am hit with gorgeous sherry notes. Deep notes of dates and sultanas, syrup drenched raisins. Full and creamy in the mouth while also still feeling fairly light. It's not a deep whisky in body but it is all deep in flavours. A touch of caramel and honey spring up just before those dense but not harsh spice notes hit. They warm in the mouth as cinnamon and nutmeg build into an almost ginger cocoa note joins. This is one of the most balanced sherry finished whiskies I have experienced in a very long time. The finish is strong and lasts long in length. Those spice notes stick around and a bit of oak presence swirls up. An espresso type coffee note is faded into next along with a bit of that orange peel note from the nose.


Conclusion

I finally found the Billy Walker whisky to win me over. There, I said it. This one is gorgeous, elegant, and hits with just the perfect amount of everything sweet, spice and everything nice. I find that the abv chosen here is as perfect as could be chosen. If this was bottled any higher in proof, I feel the spice notes would have taken over and went towards peppery which thankfully they did not at all the entire experience tasting this. I did actually try it with a touch of water just to see what would happen. The sweetness was tampered a fair bit and the fruit stuck out more. The spice actually increased as well and was a little louder in the finish. I prefer to sip this exactly how it comes out of the bottle. Again, this whisky is harmonious and balanced in every way. It has fruit and sweetness and spices and a flavour that brings you back for more and more. The nose you could sit with for an hour or more, a taste you don't want to end except that the finish lasts a long time and just makes you want to dive back in. Until the DarkCloud edition of Glenallachie is sent for my final approval, I will be perfectly content sipping this bottle.



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2 comentarios


Eugene U
Eugene U
18 ene 2023

Wow, sometimes the best way to eat some crow is to pair it with a good whisky 🥃. Cheers my friend 😊

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travisakwatt
18 ene 2023

You’ve changed the most.

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