glenallachie 10 years cask strength batch 10 review main

GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10 (2023)

For a while there I was closely following GlenAllachie’s batches of its Cask Strength offerings. I’ve missed a few, but am picking things up again with a review of the GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10.

The GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength is the one expression that put the distillery on the map. Of course, Billy Walker‘s involvement made sure people were paying attention anyway, but winning World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards further solidified things.

For a while there, it was almost difficult to get your hands on one of these. That’s no longer the case, partly because people may have realised these batches weren’t as singular to begin with. But also because batches are now larger. The award-winning Batch 4 consisted of 15,000 or so bottles. This number grew to 66,000 bottles for Batch 7.

I’m not sure about the availability of the GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10 – it seems there hasn’t been any communication about its batch size. Which might mean it is even bigger. Or, because interest quieted down, it’s smaller than it once was.

Since we’re on the subject of GlenAllachie, the distillery is on the precipice of a new chapter. I mean, they already kind of turned a page with the release of Meikle Tòir, the first range of whiskies to have been fully distilled and matured under Billy Walker’s reign. But it won’t be long now before the first new-style GlenAllachie will hit the shelves. Give it a year or two.

billy walker warehouse

When interviewing Billy Walker late last year, I asked him to comment on the development of the GlenAllachie spirit. After all, he changed the production regime after acquiring the distillery in 2017. Most notably, no longer an industry-standard fermentation time of 52 hours, but instead a 160-hour fermentation. This is what Billy Walker had to say.

“What is our expectation? We believe we’re getting extended flavour from once the yeast has done its job. We’re introducing more oxygen, more air. We believe we’re getting more esterification in the final stages of that. We’re getting probably additional complex flavour development. We still have to define that in terms of chemistry.

“And of course, we’ve got a very in-depth, benign wash that we’re taking to the stills. The actual distillation process is much calmer, much easier to control. There are very, very few disadvantages. For example, if you take a fermentation to the stills after about 52 hours, it’s still alive. It’s still bubbling. Big pressure on the technician to make sure the solids don’t get into the neck and then they burn. Then you start getting off odours.

“So, we’re getting an easier wash that is benign and easier to distill. And we’re getting some extended flavour development. You have to also remember that when we took over, we played around with the spirit cut. We made the cut a little bit deeper, a little bit more intense.

“We’ve been following the development. We haven’t brought any of that to the market yet, but we are very comfortable with the direction of travel. When will we bring it to market? Once it’s an 8-year-old. We’ll see.”

Interesting, no? Well, we spoke about a lot of different things, some of which you can read in the latest edition of Whisky Passion. I might sprinkle in a quote or two in future reviews.

Back to the GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10, a whisky that’s not exactly about showcasing the characteristics of the new make. Instead, Pedro Ximènez, Oloroso, red wine and virgin oak casks were used to enhance the GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10.

glenallachie 10 years cask strength batch 10 review

GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10 (58.6%, OB, 2023)

Nose: A sliver of redcurrant alongside nougat, teak, crème de cassis and cappuccino. A good portion of stewed cherries and a whiff of almonds too. Then a decent amount of sandalwood, some cigar boxes and resin.
Taste: This is seemingly all about the cask. Arriving on cracked black peppercorns, cloves, a touch of ginger and some mocha. Also peach pits, some cherry liqueur and eucalyptus. Somewhat vinous.
Finish: Medium to long. The oak spices linger, but I also get a few drops of cherry syrup and muscovado sugar.

A quintessential example of an engineered whisky. The GlenAllachie 10 Years Cask Strength Batch 10 is well-designed. This isn't about careful, slow maturation, but instead about waking up the spirit with an assortment of active casks. And it works, but it's also not without its downsides.
glenallachie stills

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