Glenallachie is one of those distilleries that you hardly hear from. That has everything to do with the fact that it is a silent partner in a whole lot of blends like Clan Campbell, House of Lords, White Heather, 100 Pipers, Passport, Queen Ann, Highland Clan and Chivas Regal. But it can hardly be found as an official bottling. There are plenty of independent bottlings though. This 35 Year Old appeared in 2010, bottled by Specialty Drinks and matured on a first fill sherry cask. I got to taste it during a Father’s Day menu at a local whisky restaurant, where it was served next to my Angus Rib Eye Steak. The generous chef gave me a nice sample to take home to taste it again. I did that the very next day.
It is not a sherry monster, but comes quite close. It smells wonderfully old with with loads of fruit. Think overripe banana, grilled pineapple, figs and prunes. But also nice hints of polished leather, tobacco leafs, old red wine and something of rum. Soy sauce.
Oh, boy, what a great mouth feel. Sweet and sou rand spicy upon arrival – even a bit umama – on coffee liqueur, roasted cocoa beans and rancio. Then it turns a bit sweeter on prunes and cherries, but it never loses that sharp edge of the toasted oak – which I find to be very complimentary. Cinnamon and black pepper. On the edge of being astringent, without it becoming naughty. Great balance.
All this continues into the very long finish in which I again discover coffee liqueur.
Is this the best Glenallachie ever? Could very well be. And while I am very grateful to my wife and kids for this surprise dinner (it had been way to long since my last visit to restaurant ‘t Konijntje), I would also like to thank Jos for spoiling me so. And not just because his cooking is out of this world, but also because he knows exactly which whisky serve with the food. And he has some real gems. Thanks, Jos and Tanya! We will be back soon.