Glenallachie 10 CS, Batch 3

Let’s continue with the reviews of sherry cask-matured, cask strength Glenallachie. I reviewed Batch 2 of the Glenallachie 10, Cask Strength on Monday. Here now is Batch 3. Batch 2 was released in 2018. Batch 3 was released in 2019 in the Europe and in 2020 in the US. As to whether the 2020 release was the same vatting as the 2019, just released later, or if it was a different vatting, I don’t know. But I’d guess it was the latter since, as per Whiskybase, the US release was bottled a full year later. Or I suppose they might have released an 11 yo as a 10 yo to preserve the branding of the series. At any rate, both releases, like Batch 2, are officially 10 years old. However, while Batch 2 was vatted from spirit matured in oloroso, PX and virgin oak casks, Batch 3 dropped the virgin oak, making it an all-sherry cask whisky. I liked Batch 2 quite a lot and given that this one doesn’t have virgin oak casks in the mix, odds are good I’ll like it even more. Let’s see if that proves to be the case.

Glenallachie 10 CS, Batch 3 (58.2%; from a bottle split)

Nose: This one leads with toffee and salted nuts. The citrus emerges on the second sniff—dried orange peel and a bit of lemon; a bit of spicy oak as well. The red fruit pops out here too with time but plays well with the citrus; the apricot from the palate emerges here as well. With a squirt of water, probably taking it down to the low 50s in abv, there’s more of the toffee, along with some butterscotch, and the apricot trumps the citrus; the spicy oak gets pushed back.

Palate: Comes in hot but also sweet with some red fruit (cherry, berries) which expands as I swallow. Decent texture. More of the oak on the second sip but it’s not tannic. The red fruit expands on the next few sips. As it sits, the orange peel emerges, along with a bit of apricot; very Grand Marnier’ish, in fact. Let’s see what water does for it. As on the nose, water pushes the oak back (but not entirely). Some toffee/butterscotch here too now but it’s the fruit (apricot and orange peel) that gets emphasized over the softer notes.

Finish: Medium-long. The sweet notes linger; thankfully, there’s not much sign of the oak. Develops as on the palate with time and water (and the finish lengthens as it goes).

Comments: Despite the lack of virgin oak in the vatting, this came across oakier than Batch 2 at first. I’d guess either the PX casks or the oloroso or both were rejuvenated and seasoned hogsheads (or that they were a bunch of those in the vatting). I liked the nose from the get-go but the palate took a little longer to come along. My first impressions had it behind Batch 2 in the 84-85 point range but I ended up liking it a bit more.

Rating: 87 points.



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