An unusually young finished whisky here – 5 years in an oloroso butt and then re-racked into a 2nd fill toasted oak butt for an additional 2 years. Baffling, but lets see…
Nose: Standing in a cake factory – sponge, golden syrup, rum-soaked raisins and a host of jam and preserve fillings. Dough and cinnamon laced-sugars conjure an image of churros doughnuts, whilst butterscotch sauce and ground nutmeg are drizzled heartily over dried fruit cake. At 67% ABV no one in their right mind would be chiding you for reaching for some dilution – it delivers notes from the toasted butt finish – charred and singed wood, burnt toffee and overly-reduced pan sugars.
Taste: Sweet and packed full of spices – chocolate sauce, brioche and burnt toast with pokey pepper, cinnamon and chilli. Butterscotch again (burnt) sits with charred cask ends, parchment paper and singed leather. Reduction sharpens things up – piquant with spice and less unctuous – again, it unlocks fired flavours – this time including charcoal, spent matches and firelighters.
Finish: Medium to long, chocolatey, peppery and with drying sugary oak.
This Glenallachie belies its 7 years age statement with some action-packed intense flavours that suit the particularly hefty ABV. It’s rare to see a finish employed after just 5 years of age, but here it works – penetrating, concentrated, sweet and incinerated.