If there’s anything Billy Walker likes to do, it is to play around with different types of wood finishes. He’s done it at BenRiach, but also GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh, and it was only a matter of time before he would do it with whisky from his current distillery, GlenAllachie.
A few weeks ago a new Wood Finish range was announced, including three new expressions. I had the chance to try all three, and thought I would start with the oldest one, working my way down the youngest of the trio. So first up is the GlenAllachie 12 Years Old Pedro Ximenez Finish. This has matured in American oak barrels before its additional maturation in Pedro Ximenez puncheons.
GlenAllachie 12 Years Old Pedro Ximenez Finish (48%, OB, 2019)
Nose: Sultanas, raspberry and polished oak. Hints of cherry bonbons (is that a Dutch thing?), triple sec and elderflower as well. A touch of vanilla and cinnamon too. Taste: Orange liqueur, wood shavings and a whiff of mint. Some blackberries and overripe banana, with a touch of chocolate and fermented grapes. Cloves too. Finish: Somewhat burnished. Drying. Medium in length.
Fairly complex and decently balanced, this GlenAllachie isn’t in line with the more common examples of Pedro Ximenez matured whisky, not in the sense that certain GlenDronach are. It’s too oak-forward for that.