Of all the young distilleries in Scotland, I believe Torabhaig is producing some of the best whisky. The recent Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength, which is part of the distillery’s Legacy Series, only strengthens that believe.
I first had a taste of the Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength during The Whisky Show in London. It immediately stood out as the kind of peated whisky I can get behind. Warming, comforting, and… I hesitate to say this, because the term has become infected with bias and snobbism, but I thought it was smooth. There, I said it.
Just check out the stats. It’s relatively young (60+ months of age). The barley was peated at 78+ PPM, while the residual peat sits at 22.8 PPM. It matured in first-fill ex-bourbon and re-fill American oak casks. And the Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength is bottled at a daunting 61.1%.
It should be a powerhouse of a whisky. And indeed, it is very robust. But it’s also just such a velvety single malt. I would think this is what the distillery means with well-tempered peat.
Torabhaig Whiskymaker, Neil Macleod Mathieson, commented: “Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength is our way of bidding a fond farewell to Allt Gleann and closing out this chapter of Torabhaig’s journey to 10 year old. This is the last time we’ll get to see this specific style of Torabhaig, so we set aside a few hundred casks of this expression distilled during the experimental phases of 2017 and 2018 to release at its natural strength.
The Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength completes the current chapter of the distillery’s Legacy Series, which charts the journey to the 10-year-old. Next year the sherry-influenced Cnoc Na Moine will be introduced. Then the Allt Breacach, partly matured in Madeira casks, will follow in 2026. Finally, the Torabhaig 10 Years will close out the Legacy Series in 2028.
Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength (61.1%, OB, 2023)
Nose: Mellow, warming, comforting. Hints of wood smoke, some sweet peat, and cured lemons, but also slivers of wet wool, chalk and warm apple compote. There’s some plaster too, as well as honeyed porridge. Very uncomplicated yet smart and bright. Taste: Mouthfeel is slightly oily. This is straight-forward peated whisky, yet slightly more mature than you’d maybe expect. And it’s not just coastal. There are lemons, some green olives, and it has a decent salinity. Just a touch of caraway, white pepper and petrol too. Finish: Quite long with touches of wood smoke, a soft minerality and chalk. Some smoked barley husks too.
Colour me impressed. It's only the third Torabhaig I've ever tasted (there haven't been that many), and yet there's a familiarity here that's just very reassuring. Not because they produce something we've seen countless times before, but rather because it's just such a warming, encouring whisky. Torabhaig is doing something very right.