Brokered Complexity

Posted 14 April 2017 by Matt / In Allt-a-Bhainne

Bottle Name: Allt-a-Bhainne 17 year old

ABV: 59.5%
Distillery: Allt-a-Bhainne
Bottler: Whiskybroker
Region: Speyside Age: 17

I have a great deal of time for I’m regularly in touch with them to source liquid to bottle and label for the monthly whisky club I run. Whiskybroker are gradually building up quite the warehouse of gems up in Creetown, and regularly release interesting single malts, single grains and indeed rums.

With a strong ethos of cask strength, non-chill filtered and naturally coloured whiskies, they’re a company I’d heartily recommend to whisky clubs in the UK looking to produce their own club bottlings, especially those who want to do smaller run of a few cases.

My last club bottling – an 8 year old sherry cask Glentauchers  which I may well review at a later date as it’s fabulous - was kindly accompanied (thanks Rosie!) by a selection of 50cl minis including an Allt-a-Bhannie 17 year old.  Allt-a-Bhannie is primarily used in Chivas blends, so is not seen as a single malt as often as it should be.  Indeed, I don’t think there has ever been an official bottling to date, so if you’re looking for one you’re into indie territory.

Nose: Really pronounced with tropical fruits like bananas and pineapples mixing it up with baked good. It’s fruit strudel this.

Taste: Big instant attack, but not hostile. It’s still a tropical fruit-fest but it really belies the high ABV. Water brings out more cask elements such as vanilla and oak spices, but it’s not really needed here in terms of ‘watering down’. A surprisingly drinkable 59.5%. Good integration overall and a lot going on here. Fruity punchiness when first poured, but after some resting in the glass this is reduced and we’re heading into some crème brulee and oak spices.

Finish: Pretty long and moving nicely from fruit though to spicing.

Complicated,  bold and pretty challenging. I’d probably not recommend this for newbies, but those looking to explore how a whisky can change in a glass over time will be suitably rewarded with this.  As much about thinking as it is about drinking.

Score: 85/100

Master of Malt
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