GlenAllachie is selling like hotcakes. Whether it be single casks, entry-level expressions or older limited editions, the Billy Walker magic seems to pay off again. He has an excellent understanding of what’s a large contingent of whisky drinkers is looking for, which is dark sherry maturation, always dark sherry maturation. Most importantly: he know where to source the right casks.
He doesn’t just use seasoned sherry casks like most of the whisky industry does. These are the casks specially prepared for whisky maturation that have only held sherry for a couple of years. They can produce great whisky, but don’t exactly set you apart from your competitors. Instead, Walker also acquires actual solera casks.
As today’s GlenAllachie (part of the third batch of single cask releases) has matured in a Pedro Ximénez puncheon, I’m inclined to think this probably wasn’t a sherry seasoned cask. Most of the time you’ll find these are hogsheads, maybe occasionally a butt. But a puncheon? Not very likely.
Also, before we move on to my tasting notes, I’d like to point out the rather large outturn of 702 bottles from a single cask that’s 16 years of age. Theoretically this is possible because a puncheon is up to 700 litres in size. But there’s always the possibility this is the cause of the seemingly low angels’ share.
GlenAllachie 2004 16 Years Pedro Ximénez (56.4%, OB, C#4457)
Nose: A slight perfume-y edge, but mainly sweet cherry-flavoured candy canes, cake icing and strawberry ice cream. Some darker, earthy and spicy influences as well with mocha, pepper and nutmeg, but also brighter notes of orange zest. Great balance especially for a PX matured whisky. Taste: Creamy and much more oaky than the nose suggests. Plenty of spices like ginger, pepper and cloves, but also nutmeg, resin and a whiff of espresso. It’s even somewhat hoppy at times. There’s touches of dark chocolate, strawberry marmalade and prunes, as well as blackberry jam. Finish: Lingering spices with lesser prominent notes of caramel. Medium in length.
Still a good whisky, but based on the nose alone this GlenAllachie would've scored so much higher. The palate is too much of a spicy/oaky attack on the senses to warrant a higher rating.