Glenallachie week comes to a close with another heavily sherried, cask strength whisky. But this is not yet another batch of the 10 yo CS (see here for my review of Batch 2 on Monday, and here for my review of Batch 3 on Wednesday). This is a 12 yo and it’s a single cask that was bottled for Spec’s in Texas. And where both batches of the 10 yo CS were vatted from whiskies matured in more than one type of cask, this one was matured in a PX puncheon. Or at least so it seems. Keep in mind that Glenallachie is run by Billy Walker, and when he was at Glendronach, they used a much looser definition of the term “single cask” (see here for more on all that if you don’t know what I’m referring to). So maybe this is all whisky that was matured for 12 years in this specific single cask; or maybe it’s whisky that was re-racked into this cask before being bottled. If you know one way or the other, please write in below. Anyway, I liked both batches of the 10 yo CS that I reviewed this week quite a lot. Let’s see if this keeps that streak alive.
Glenallachie 12, 2008 (52.9%; PX puncheon 495; from a bottle split)
Nose: Salted nuts and slightly spicy oak off the top; dried, woody orange peel coming up from below along with a bit of dried ginger. As it sits the spicy notes recede and there’s quite a bit of apricot jam in their place; the oak is more toasted now. With a few drops of water there’s more of the apricot and less of the oak.
Palate: Comes in with the spicy oak, red fruit and some citrus (orange). Approachable at full strength but hot (probably on account of the oak); decent texture. Saltier on the second and third sips with a bit less of the red fruit and spicy oak; then some of the apricot begins to emerge here as well. Hmm water oddly seems to amplify the oak here (making it a bit tannic); also pulls out some roasted malt.
Finish: Long. Starts out spicy here too and stays spicy as it goes. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Based on this cask, I feel confident in saying that the spicy oak and red fruit in the Glenallachie 10 CS, Batch 3 probably originated in the PX casks used in that vatting. A pleasant enough whisky but not very much more. I liked the nose better with water and the palate better neat. Which would make for a bit of a conundrum if I had a bottle.
Rating: 84 points.