Allt-a-Bhainne 16, 1995 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)


I’ve only had and reviewed one other Allt-a-Bhainne. I noted in that review that I knew nothing about Allt-a-Bhainne, not even how the name is pronounced. My knowledge has since increased just a little bit. I know now that it was only founded in 1975 and that the correct pronunciation of the name is closer to “autobahn” than you might expect. I do know, however, that I quite liked the other one. That was a 21 yo bottled by Cadenhead’s. This one is a 16 yo bottled by Berry Bros. & Rudd. Both are from bourbon casks selected by two highly reliable bottlers: that bodes well for this one as well. Let’s see if reality cooperates.

Allt-a-Bhainne 16, 1995 (53.4%; Berry Bros. & Rudd; cask #125284; from a sample received in a swap) 

Nose: Lots of lemon with some musky, malty notes running through it and then notes of sweeter fruit (peach, berries). Quite vibrant. Soon it’s a lemon-driven fruit punch. Some dusty oak too with more time. Maltier and muskier with a few drops of water.

Palate: As promised by the nose but sweeter (apples) and maltier. Very nice mouthfeel. The lemon expands with every sip and there’s a grassiness too that works well here; and there’s a bit of cocoa powder mixed in with the malt. Okay, let’s see what water does. It makes it a little more gingery maybe, certainly much sharper.

Finish: Long. No new development: the apples and lemon and oak slowly dissipate and the last impression is of the malt. A little more muddled with water.

Comments: This is a very pleasant, fruity, malty whisky. Not much complexity and nothing very exciting about the fruit but it’s a solid whisky and I’d be very happy to have a full bottle on the shelf. Unfortunately, I don’t. I preferred it without water.

Rating: 85 points.

Thanks to Florin for the sample!

8 thoughts on “Allt-a-Bhainne 16, 1995 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

  1. We’re quite at odds on this one:
    “I simply did not get this whisky for most of its life. In the last two weeks I started to really enjoy it – somewhat tart and vaguely smoky. Initially it tasted too industrial, dry, spirity. However, that was during the hot days of summer! The weather seemed to count. About 75pts”

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  2. Probably not the ideal place to chime in, but I recently tried a pour of 100 Pipers 3yr old blended scotch. $11/litre. Google tells me the malt content is mostly Allt-a-Bhainne (although the blend is mostly grain). Anyway, it’s a very clean, inoffensive blended scotch with no off notes. Probably very good with ice, in a long drink or cocktail. Just FYI in case anyone wants a scotch half as cheap and better than Grant’s or Ballantine’s.

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