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Glenallachie (pronounced: glen-AL-ak-ee) was another of those distilleries born out of the boom of the late sixties, designed to keep the blends afloat in the coming decades where sales were forecast to soar. Sadly, as we are all too aware, things didnt quite work out that way. However, Glenallachie survived like many of the newer distilleries and continues to feed the blenders today in the manner in which it was conceived.
Stills: 2 wash 2 Spirit
Water Source: Ben Rinnes Mountain
Capacity: 2.8 Million Litres
Owners: Pernod Ricard
1967-Present: A Low Key Blending Machine
There are very few bottlings of Glenallachie available. Only in recent years have more independent expressions begun to emerge. There was an official 12yo in the mid eighties but this whisky was so dire that it seems like little surprise that there wasnt another official bottling until 2008. This time an 18yo cask strength sherry monster that was much better, full on oily concentrated sherry, dried fruits, nuts, mineral and clean oak all in full force make it a belter of a dram. Sherry is regularly filled at the distillery so this has had a big impression on the house style over the years. There are other fantastic examples in sherry, a 35yo 1975 by Speciality Drinks was a stunning aged example, big, clean, fruit laden and rich it was a textbook example of a great sherry aged Speysider. The Perfect Dram also had two excellent aged examples recently, a 1971 and 1972 bottled 2010 both from refill bourbon. Both were exceptionally fresh, aromatic aged malts. Full of honey, flowers and fruits that showed what a clean and pristine make Glenallachie is. They also further underlined how well the make can age and that Glenallachie is one of those distillates that probably need a good 18 years under its belt before it really starts to shine.
There have been a few other bottlings at younger ages but not that many were exceptional. Hopefully we will see more of these farily priced and aged expressions from the independents in the future, and maybe some more official versions to match the great 18yo. Who knows? Whats for sure is that, when it wants to, Glenallachie can be pretty stunning.