The Duchess is the independent label of Dutch whisky retailer Best of Whiskies. As far as whisky drinkers are concerned they haven’t been particularly active in recent years, save for a rare (and expensive) Ardbeg. Other releases stem from 2017 and earlier, such as an Auchentoshan and Glenrothes. Instead they’ve been mainly focused on rum. Until now! Turns out they’ve a quality Glenallachie 195 24 Years up their sleeve.
Bottled as part of their Game and Wildlife Series, the label was done by Hans Dilesse, who’s work featured on the recent inaugural release by Dornoch Distillery as well. The bird on the label is a black grouse, indigenous to the Speyside region.
While I’m confident that Nils, who runs Best of Whiskies, is perfectly capable of picking a cask, it sure is interesting that this Glenallachie was chosen by Mark Watt, previously of Cadenhead’s and now Watt Whisky. The whisky matured in a hogshead, presumably a refill bourbon cask.
Glenallachie 1995 24 Years (55.1%, The Duchess, C#23)
Nose: It is very crisp and lemon-y with dried barley husks and a whisper of burlap. Touches of apple compote, quinces and sweet peaches. Finally a whisper of grapefruit, this is getting more citrusy as we go along.
Taste: A creamy mouthfeel and gentle arrival with a good amount of citrus and some stone fruits. Soft notes of white pepper and cloves too, with finally a surprising mineral touch.
Finish: Lingering spices and lemon pith. Ending on notes of orchard fruits. Quite long.
Excellent single cask from Glenallachie with a mature flavour profile that’s getting rare these days. Not cheap, but I suppose nowadays that’s the going price for single malts of this age. You could certainly do much worse than spending your money on this. Lovely pick by Mark Watt and Best of Whiskies.
Sample provided by Bestofwhiskies.com