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”


  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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