There was once a young distillery in the Scotland countryside whose inventory included ducks found in the waters that fed it.
It made sense for a distillery rooted in its surroundings.
Glenallachie is one of the younger distilleries in Scotland, nestled at the foot of the Ben Rinnes Mountain. The name (pronounced Glen-alla-key) comes from the Scottish Gaelic phrase Gleann Aileachaidh (Valley of the Rocks).
Founded in 1967 by Mackinlay McPherson Limited, the distillery has had many owners. Mackinlays became part of Invergordon Distillers in 1985, who mothballed it in 1987, before flipping it to Campbell Distillers/ Pernod Ricard in 1989. Pernod sold it in 2017 to the consortium GlenAllachie Distillers Company Limited.
The consortium’s focus is on developing GlenAllachie as a single malt brand. Master Distiller Billy Walker — inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame — is on a mission to create the best single malt in Speyside. If the awards are anything to go by, Walker is definitely on the right path.
Today, the distillery is one of the few remaining independent, 100% Scottish owned Scotch whisky firms. What’s remained consistent, beyond the quality of their malt, is their water source: nearby dam heads, the home of the ducks.
THE GLENALLACHIE, 12 YEARS
46% ABV – 700 ml
GlenAllachie 12 Year Old was the flagship of GlenAllachie Distillers Company Limited’s new core range, released in 2018. It’s an award-winning malt, having picked up Gold at Scottish Whisky Awards 2019, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2019, and International Spirits Challenge 2020. Aged in a marriage of different casks — Pedro Ximénez, Oloroso and virgin oak — results in a big and complex dram. The sweet and faintly floral malt is bottled without chill filtration or colouration. It develops more character as it rests and pairs well with a little water — a few drops are enough to brighten it up, tone the dry notes and add some caramel hints.
Tasting Notes: The clean expression has a busy nose that’s fruity and floral, with the aroma of raisins, honey and a touch of citrus. On the palate, it is full bodied and big. It starts out sweet with green banana and develops into a deep mocha, with peppery spices providing a pleasant bitterness at the end. The finish is long, with warming spices and notes of dark chocolate.
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