The 11th Society bottling of Allt-a-Bhainne, distilled in July of 2006 and matured for 11 years in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel. Sweet, Fruity & Mellow profile.
Nose: Strawberries and cream, raspberries and meringue – it’s either Wimbledon or an Eton Mess. Quite lovely. Rose water, pistachios and coconut shavings provide additional interesting aromas. These are joined by an underlying biscuity note that really adds some weight to the lighter fruits and creams. The addition of water reduced the sweetness levels, souring the fruits and adding some tart grapefruit – honestly, with such a lovely natural aroma, I’d personally omit any dilution here.
Taste: Slightly oily and with a full arrival that is a touch hot around the edges. Cream cakes, sponge fingers and puff pastry mix with unripe berries and milk chocolate. All quite patisserie. In the mid to back palate, spicing and cask influence really comes out to play, delivering both bitter oak and quite a high volume of pepperiness. Water softens the spicing and oak, adding vanilla and more reduced, stewed red fruits.
Finish: Medium, slightly drying, slightly tannic and a bit boozy, Sugared fruits and sherbet are the order of the day here.
After the glorious nose of this Allt-a-Bhainne, one can’t help but be a touch disappointed that the palate is nowhere near as successfully delivered. Creamy baked goods and fresh berries a both nice things, but the bitterness of oak and high level of pepperiness are quite jarring here. At Wimbledon eating an Eton Mess - heavily dusted in black pepper and off of a piece of freshly cut plywood. I'm not convinced.